Growing more than one crop at the same time and on the same land can be a great advantage and benefit for the farmers. The method of growing more than one crop on the same land is called Intercropping.
Intercropping has now practised farmers across the country and it is the widely practised farming method that has proved to be more productive. For maximum yields, farmers across the country have been challenged to adopt the best farming methods and technology.
Planning is a very important step required while practising the intercropping method. This includes choosing the right varieties of crops, soil and climate. It is considered not to have crops competing with each other for space, sunlight, nutrients and water.
Example: Planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires shade.
- Coconut intercropping with Banana, Turmeric, Arecanut, Tapioca, Nutmeg, pineapple, Ginger, Cocoa and Pepper etc.
Some of the significant types of Intercropping types are Mixed intercropping and Row Intercropping.
Row intercropping involves crops arranged in alternate rows. Strip intercropping is a more industrialized version of row planting.
Mixed intercropping, as the name implies, involves growing more than one crop simultaneously without any row arrangement. The component crops are totally mixed in the available physical space.
A few benefits and advantages of intercropping are,
- Reduction in soil erosion, space utilization and controls pest and weeds;
- It is highly profitable and utilizes the resource efficiently.
- Intercrops maintain soil fertility.