Moringa crops cover 13,250 hectares in the state of Tamil Nadu in India providing a net income of ~$4000 (USD) per hectare per annum. It forms an important part of smallholder livelihoods in the state of Tamil Nadu in India which lies in a semi-arid agro-ecosystem.  Our project is testing the efficacy of floral interventions to boost pollinators numbers within fields growing perennial moringa as the main crop. We selected 24 sites – 12 as control; and 12 with floral interventions (see map below). Within the intervention fields, marigold has been sown as an intercrop between rows of moringa trees and red lentils as a border crop on the field edges. Two seasons of data on pollinators, pollination and yield metrics have been collected and are currently being analysed.

Gallery: A few photos from our site network taken before and during our field seasons

Initial discussion with farmers by PI and Co-Is
Discussing fieldwork protocols and safety under covid restrictions
Planting seedlings of redgram and marigold seedling in Selvamani field, Neelamalaikottai
Field staff setting up irrigation for floral interventions
Marigold saplings
Planting interventions and ensuring irrigation
Marigold intercropping2
Marigold intercropping
Transplanting completed in Vattaparai intervention field
Flowering Marigolds
Red gram as border crop
Pollinator exclusion in moringa
Pollinator exclusion experiment
Moringa hand pollination
Flowering red gram
Hand pollination in moringa
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow