A General Overview on Intercropping and Its Advantages in Sustainable Agriculture
Abstract, 2011, Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences
Agricultural sector as important economic activities in various communities requires coherent planning in order to achieve development and confront with crises. Sustainable agriculture is more efficient in use of resources such as soil and water, and is in balance with the environment conditions. Conventional farming and monocropping systems In addition to depletion the natural resource, is caused environmental pollution. Intercropping can be defined as a multiple cropping system that two or more crops planted in a field during a growing season. Intercropping is a ways to increase diversity in an agricultural ecosystem. Ecological balance, more utilization of resources, increases the quantity and quality of products and reduction damage by pests, diseases and weeds will increases with use of intercropping systems. Row-intercropping, mixed- intercropping, strip-intercropping and relay- intercropping are most important types of intercropping. Crops yield increases with intercropping due to higher growth rate, reduction of weeds, pests and diseases and more effective use of resources. Pest and disease damage in intercropping is less than pure cropping, due to pest or pathogen attract by the second crop species, Also weeds will be control, when crops in intercropping system have a complementary effect together. Soil fertility increases by using plants of leguminosae family in intercropping, due to the increasing amount of biological nitrogen fixation.
Keywords: Agriculture, intercrop, monocropping, sustainable.