DMPQ-What is Intercropping and what are the advantages of intercropping?

Inter Cropping: Growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land with definite row arrangementor in a fixed ratio. It was originally practiced as an insurance against crop failure under drained conditions. Intercroppingsystems utilizes resources efficiently and their productivity is increased.

Example: – Maize + Cowpea, Potato + Mustard, Groundnut + Redgram.

Advantages of intercropping:

  • Better use of growth resources including light, nutrients and water
  • Suppression of weeds
  • Yield stability; even if one crop fails due to unforeseen situations, another crop willyield and gives income
  • Successful intercropping gives higher equivalent yields (yield of base crop + yield ofintercrop), higher cropping intensity
  • Reduced pest and disease incidences
  • Improvement of soil health and agro-ecosystem
  • Intercropping of compatible plants also encourages biodiversity, by providing a habitatfor a variety of insects and soil organisms that would not be present in a single-crop environment. This inturn can help limit outbreaks of crop pests by increasing predator biodiversity.
  • Additionally, reducing the homogeneity of the crop increases the barriers against biological dispersal of pestorganisms through the crop.

 

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