Intercropping v/s Monocropping

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of planting same crop and different crops in a field

We are discussing on two types of farming method called mono cropping and inter cropping. Mono cropping is a traditional practice of planting the same plant in a large area of land. Intercropping, on the other hand, is a sustainable method of farming which is accepted worldwide due to its economic and environment developmental benefits.

The main aim of intercropping farming is to bring diversity in the garden or farm. The farmer is benefited in many ways by this method. Since the green revolution started, the involvement of chemical pesticides became more abundant and farmers thought it’s impossible to grow various cash crop farming in large amount. In an ecosystem we see various types of plants growing together and helping each other to grow. The whole idea of intercropping is to plant various crops together and they have to be in a symbiotic relationship with each other and have a healthy competition for growth. Farmers can produce high yields of crops in a same field by growing more than one kind of crops and they can reduce the dependency on fertilizers and pesticides rather than monocropping.

Intercropping is a contrasting system to monocropping where the same crop is cultivated in several acres of land. The same variety of crop is growing year after year in the same field without any crop rotation. Farmers are opting for monocropping to bring a consistent crop in their entire farm by using same seeds, pest control, machinery and growing method. This system damages the soil ecology and making crops vulnerable to various pest attacks. It results in increased dependency on pesticides and artificial fertilizers. It is a risky way of cultivation as the crops are vulnerable if any infection spread through the crop the entire crop can be wiped out quickly.

The difference between intercropping and monocropping lies between the arrangement of plants based on their symbiotic relationship. Therefore, farmers need to consider the sowing time and plant combinations. Mostly there are two types of crops that farmers use for intercropping like primary crops or secondary crops. The primary crops are mainly cash crops and secondary crops are from another family.One example for intercropping is coffee and banana cultivation. The advantages of intercropping are in boosting yield more efficient use of land resources. It ensures increased profit even if primary crop failed, secondary crop provide more return.

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