Description of practice

Intercropping involves growing two or more crops in proximity. Intercropping is used to produce greater yield by making use of resources or ecological processes. Intercropping is also used as a method to spread production risk.

Examples of how to use intercropping Further information
(see Note below)

AMP35 01

Photo: Luuk Fleskens

Maize and beans

Soybean and maize are planted together in the same field to increase soil fertility, yield and financial return. Soybean helps to fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the net demand for fertilizers.


»WOCAT technology 2815
»WOCAT technology 2872

AMP35 02


Alternate rows of different vegetables such as lettuce, pak choi, escarole, choy sum and morning glory are intercropped to reduce damage from insects.


»WOCAT technology 2098

AMP35 03

Orchard trees and wheat

Wheat is intercropped in an existing orchard. Between the trees which are planted along contour lines, a 3 m wide grass strip is left uncultivated to control runoff and to protect the ground from splash erosion.


»WOCAT technology 1002
»WOCAT technology 1134

AMP35 04

Cashew nut trees and peanuts

Intercropping of annual peanuts with cashew trees fills the free space of land between the trees, prevents soil erosion and improves soil fertility.


»WOCAT technology 2315
»WOCAT technology 3146

AMP35 05

Fruit trees and cash crops

Intercropping of pineapple between mango and orange trees helps to maintain soil nutrients while enhancing potential economic benefits through producing a bigger variety of crops.


»WOCAT technology 2843
»WOCAT technology 3171
»WOCAT technology 2255
»WOCAT technology 2317
»WOCAT technology 2236

AMP35 06

Maize and chilli peppers

Intercropping maize and the high value cash crop chilli peppers helps to control erosion, enhance water and nutrient use efficiency, control pests and diseases, and shows improved resilience to drought.


»American Society of Agronomy

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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