Appropriate Technology Asia


The simultaneous cultivation of different crops on the same piece of land has been described interchangeably as mixed cropping or intercropping. Intercropping reduces the chances of the farmer losing everything to pests, drought, or disease.

If one crop fails, the other may survive and will compensate for the loss or provide at least some food or earnings. Another advantage of intercropping is that it often makes more efficient and intensive use of available labour. Encouraging year-round vegetative cover, and by careful research and selection of species for inter-cropping during the growing season, minimises or eliminates the periods when the soil surface is exposed to wind and water erosion.

In addition, retaining crop residues in the soil, rather than using them for fodder or fuel is an important method of reducing nutrient leaching from the soils during the winter. ATA works to introduce appropriate methods for improving agricultural productivity without negative impacts on fragile local soils or surrounding ecosystems.