Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources or ecological processes that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop. Careful planning is required, taking into account the soil, climate and varieties, it is important not to have crops competing with each other for physical space, water, or sunlight. Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade. Inga alley cropping has been proposed as an alternative to the ecological destruction of slash-and-burn farming; when crops are selected, other agronomic benefits are achieved. Planting two crops in close proximity can be beneficial when the two plants interact in a way that increases one or both of the plant's fitness. For example, plants that are prone to tip over in wind or heavy rain, may be given structural support by their companion crop.
Climbing plants can benefit from structural support. Some plants are used to provide nutrients. Delicate or light-sensitive plants may be given shade or protection, or otherwise wasted space can be utilized. An example is the tropical multi-tier system where coconut occupies the upper tier, banana the middle tier, pineapple, ginger, or leguminous fodder, medicinal or aromatic plants occupy the lowest tier. Intercropping of compatible plants can encourage biodiversity, by providing a habitat for a variety of insects and soil organisms that would not be present in a single-crop environment; these organisms may provide crops valuable nutrients, such as through nitrogen fixation. There are several ways. For example, such practices may limit outbreaks of crop pests by increasing predator biodiversity. Additionally, reducing the homogeneity of the crop can increase the barriers against biological dispersal of pest organisms through the crop. There are several ways pests can be controlled through intercropping: Trap cropping, this involves planting a crop nearby, more attractive for pests compared to the production crop, the pests will target this crop and not the production crop.
Repellant intercrops, an intercrop that has a repellent effect to certain pests can be used. This system involved the repellant crop masking the smell of the production crop in order to keep pests away from it. Push-pull cropping, this is a mixture of repellant intercropping. An attractant crop attracts the pest and a repellant crop is used to repel the pest away; the degree of spatial and temporal overlap in the two crops can vary somewhat, but both requirements must be met for a cropping system to be an intercrop. Numerous types of intercropping, all of which vary the temporal and spatial mixture to some degree, have been identified; these are some of the more significant types: Mixed intercropping, as the name implies, is the most basic form in which the component crops are mixed in the available space. Row cropping involves the component crops arranged in alternate rows. Variations include alley cropping, where crops are grown in between rows of trees, strip cropping, where multiple rows, or a strip, of one crop are alternated with multiple rows of another crop.
A new version of this is to intercrop rows of solar photovoltaic modules with agriculture crops. This practice is called agrivoltaics. Temporal intercropping uses the practice of sowing a fast-growing crop with a slow-growing crop, so that the fast-growing crop is harvested before the slow-growing crop starts to mature. Further temporal separation is found in relay cropping, where the second crop is sown during the growth near the onset of reproductive development or fruiting, of the first crop, so that the first crop is harvested to make room for the full development of the second. Intercropping to reduce pest damage in agriculture, has been deployed with varying success. For example, while trap cropping has reduced pest densities at a commercial in experiments, it fails to decrease pest densities deployed in large scale commercial landscapes. Furthermore, increasing crop diversity through intercropping does not increase the presence of the predators of crop pests. In a systematic review of the literature, in 2008, in the studies examined, predators of pests tended only increased under crop diversification strategies in 53 percent of studies, crop diversification only led to increased yield in only 32% of the studies.
Agrivoltaics Allotment garden Asset-based community development Community Food Security Coalition Community gardening Container garden Companion planting Ecological sanitation Food-feed system Forest gardening Gardening Green wall Monoculture Organic farming Permaculture Sustainable agriculture Intercropping at Washington State University
Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, herbs and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat. Forest gardening is a prehistoric method of securing food in tropical areas. In the 1980s, Robert Hart coined the term "forest gardening" after adapting the principles and applying them to temperate climates. Forest gardens are the world's oldest form of land use and most resilient agroecosystem, they originated in prehistoric times along jungle-clad river banks and in the wet foothills of monsoon regions. In the gradual process of families improving their immediate environment, useful tree and vine species were identified and improved whilst undesirable species were eliminated. Superior foreign species were selected and incorporated into the gardens.
Forest gardens are still common in the tropics and known by various names such as: home gardens in Kerala in South India, Zambia and Tanzania. These are called agroforests and, where the wood components are short-statured, the term shrub garden is employed. Forest gardens have been shown to be a significant source of income and food security for local populations. Robert Hart adapted forest gardening for the United Kingdom's temperate climate during the 1980s, his theories were developed by Martin Crawford from the Agroforestry Research Trust and various permaculturalists such as Graham Bell, Patrick Whitefield, Dave Jacke and Geoff Lawton. Forest gardens, or home gardens, are common in the tropics, using intercropping to cultivate trees and livestock on the same land. In Kerala in south India as well as in northeastern India, the home garden is the most common form of land use and is found in Indonesia. One example combines coconut, black pepper and pineapple; these gardens exemplify polyculture, conserve much crop genetic diversity and heirloom plants that are not found in monocultures.
Forest gardens have been loosely compared to the religious concept of the Garden of Eden. The BBC's Unnatural Histories claimed that the Amazon rainforest, rather than being a pristine wilderness, has been shaped by humans for at least 11,000 years through practices such as forest gardening and terra preta; this was explored in the bestselling book 1491 by author Charles C. Mann. Since the 1970s, numerous geoglyphs have been discovered on deforested land in the Amazon rainforest, furthering the evidence about Pre-Columbian civilizations. On the Yucatán Peninsula, much of the Maya food supply was grown in "orchard-gardens", known as pet kot; the system takes its name from the low wall of stones. The North American ecosystem was managed by the first nations' use of fire to burn underbrush to encourage large game. Large Oak forests harvested for acorns disappeared. Prairie and grasslands were managed by the first nations. In many African countries, for example Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, gardens are widespread in rural and urban areas and they play an essential role in establishing food security.
Most well known are the Chagga gardens on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; these are an excellent example of an agroforestry system. In many countries, women are the main actors in home gardening and food is produced for subsistence. In North-Africa, oasis layered gardening with palm trees, fruit trees and vegetables is a traditional type of forest garden. In Nepal, the Ghar Bagaincha "home garden", refers to the traditional land-use system around a homestead, where several species of plants are grown and maintained by household members and their products are intended for the family consumption; the term “home garden” is considered synonymous to the kitchen garden. However, they differ in terms of function, diversity and features. In Nepal, 72% of households have home gardens of an area 2–11% of the total land holdings; because of their small size, the government has never identified home gardens as an important unit of food production, they thus remain neglected from research and development.
However, at the household level the system is important, as it is an important source of quality food and nutrition for the rural poor and, therefore, is an important contributor to the household food security and livelihoods of farming communities in Nepal. The gardens are cultivated with a mixture of annual and perennial plants that can be harvested on a daily or seasonal basis. Biodiversity that has an immediate value is maintained in home gardens as women and children have easy access to preferred food. Home gardens, with their intensive and multiple uses, provide a safety net for households when food is scarce; these gardens are not only important sources of food, fuel, spices, flowers, construction materials and income in many countries, but they are important for the in situ conservation of a wide range of unique genetic resources for food and agriculture. Many uncultivated, as well as neglected and underutilised species could make an important contribution to the dietary diversity of local communities.
In addition to supplementing diet in times of difficulty, home gardens promote who
The Green Revolution, or Second Agricultural Revolution, is a set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s. The initiatives resulted in the adoption of new technologies, including high-yielding varieties of cereals dwarf wheats and rices, in association with chemical fertilizers and agro-chemicals, with controlled water-supply and new methods of cultivation, including mechanization. All of these together were seen as a'package of practices' to supersede'traditional' technology and to be adopted as a whole. Both the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation were involved. One key leader was Norman Borlaug, the "Father of the Green Revolution", who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, he is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. The basic approach was the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides to farmers.
The term "Green Revolution" was first used in a speech on 8 March 1968 by the administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development, William S. Gaud, who noted the spread of the new technologies: "These and other developments in the field of agriculture contain the makings of a new revolution, it is not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green Revolution." It has been argued that "during the twentieth century two'revolutions' transformed rural Mexico: the Mexican Revolution and the Green Revolution". With the support of the Mexican government, the U. S. government, the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Rockefeller Foundation, Mexico made a concerted effort to transform agricultural productivity with irrigated rather than dry-land cultivation in its northwest, to solve its problem of lack of food self-sufficiency. In the center and south of Mexico, where large-scale production faced challenges, agricultural production languished.
Increased production meant food self-sufficiency in Mexico to feed its growing and urbanizing population, with the number of calories consumed per Mexican increasing. Technology was seen as a valuable way to feed the poor, would relieve some pressure of the land redistribution process. Mexico was the recipient of Green Revolution knowledge and technology, it was an active participant with financial support from the government for agriculture as well as Mexican agronomists. Although the Mexican Revolution had broken the back of the hacienda system and land reform in Mexico had by 1940 distributed a large expanse of land in central and southern Mexico, agricultural productivity had fallen. During the administration of Manuel Avila Camacho, the government put resources into developing new breeds of plants and partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1943, the Mexican government founded the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, which became a base for international agricultural research.
Agriculture in Mexico had been a sociopolitical issue, a key factor in some regions' participation in the Mexican Revolution. It was a technical issue, enabled by a cohort of trained agronomists, who were to advise peasants how to increase productivity. In the post-World War II era, the government sought development in agriculture that bettered technological aspects of agriculture in regions that were not dominated by small-scale peasant cultivators; this drive for agricultural transformation would have the benefit of keeping Mexico self-sufficient in food and in the political sphere with the Cold War stem unrest and the appeal of Communism. Technical aid can be seen as serving political ends in the international sphere. In Mexico, it served political ends, separating peasant agriculture based on the ejido and considered one of the victories of the Mexican Revolution, from agribusiness that requires large-scale land ownership, specialized seeds and pesticides, a low-wage paid labor force; the government created the Mexican Agricultural Program to be the lead organization in raising productivity.
One of their successes was wheat production, with varieties the agency's scientists helped create dominating wheat production as early as 1951, 1965, 1968. Mexico became the showcase for extending the Green Revolution to other areas of Latin America and beyond, into Africa and Asia. New breeds of maize and wheat produced bumper crops with proper inputs and careful cultivation. Many Mexican farmers, dubious about the scientists or hostile to them came to see the scientific approach to agriculture as worth adopting. In 1960, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines with the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation established the International Rice Research Institute. A rice crossing between Dee-Geo-woo-gen and Peta was done at IRRI in 1962. In 1966, one of the breeding lines became a new cultivar, IR8. IR8 required the use of fertilizers and pesticides, but produced higher yields than the traditional cultivars. Annual rice production in the Philippines increased from 3.7 to 7.7 million tons in two decades.
The switch to IR8 rice made the Philippines a rice exporter for the first time in the 20th century. In 1961, India was on the brink of mass famine. Norman Borlaug was invited to India by the adviser to t
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
Polyculture is a form of agriculture in which more than one species is grown at the same time and place in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems. Polyculture is the opposite of monoculture, in which only members of one plant or animal species are cultivated together. Polyculture has traditionally been the most prevalent form of agriculture in most parts of the world and is growing in popularity today due to its environmental and health benefits. There are many types of polyculture including annual polycultures such as intercropping and cover cropping and integrated aquaculture. Polyculture is advantageous because of its ability to control pests and disease without major chemical inputs; as such, polyculture is considered a sustainable form of agriculture. However, issues with crop yield and biological competition have caused many modern major industrial food producers to continue to rely on monoculture instead. Polyculture has traditionally been the most prevalent form of agriculture.
A well-known example of historic polyculture is the intercropping of maize and squash plants in a group referred to as "the three sisters". In this combination, the maize provides a structure for the bean to grow on, the bean provides nitrogen for all of the plants, while the squash suppresses weeds on the ground; this crop mixture can be traced back several thousand years ago to civilizations in Latin America and Africa and is representative of how species in polycultures sustain each other and minimize the need for human intervention. Integrated aquaculture, or the growing of seafood and plants together, has been common in parts of Eastern Asia for several thousand years as well. In China and Japan, for example and shrimp have been grown in ponds with rice and seaweed. Other countries where polyculture has traditionally been a substantial part of agricultural and continues to be so today include those in the Himalayan region, Eastern Asia, South America, Africa; because of the development of pesticides and fertilizers, monoculture became the predominant form of agriculture in the 1950's.
The prevalence of polyculture declined in popularity at that time in more economically developed countries where it was deemed to produce less yield while requiring more labor. Polyculture farming has not disappeared though as traditional polyculture systems continue to be an essential part of the food production system today. Around 15% to 20% of the world’s agriculture is estimated as relying on traditional polyculture systems; the majority of Latin American farmers continue to intercrop their maize and squash. Due to climate change, polyculture is returning in popularity in more developed countries as well as food producers seek to reduce their environmental and health impacts; the kinds of plants that are grown, their spatial distribution, the time that they spend growing together determines the specific type of polyculture, implemented. There is no limit for the types of plants or animals that can be grown together to form a polyculture; the time overlaps between plants can be asymmetrical as well, with one plant depending on the other for longer than is reciprocated due to differences in life spans.
When more than two crops are grown in complete spatial and temporal overlap with each other, it is referred to as intercropping. Intercropping is useful in plots with limited land availability. Legumes are one of the most intercropped crops legume-cereal mixtures. Legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil so that it is available for consumption by other plants in a process known as nitrogen fixation; the presence of legumes eliminates the need for man-made nitrogen fertilizers in intercrops. When a crop is grown alongside another plant, not a crop, the combination is referred to as cover cropping. If the non-crop plant is a weed, the combination is called a weedy culture. Grasses and legumes are the most common cover crops. Cover crops are beneficial as they can help prevent soil erosion, physically suppress weeds, improve surface water retention, and, in the case of legumes, provide nitrogen compounds as well. Strip cropping is a form of polyculture. While strip cropping does not involve the complete intermixing of plant species, it still provides many of the same benefits such as preventing soil erosion and aiding with nutrient cycling.
Polycultures of perennial plants are referred to as permacultures. Legume-grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are both common forms of permaculture that are popular in Europe or more temperate climates. Permacultures most notably increase soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, decrease soil erosion, regulate water consumption, decrease the need for tillage thereby conserving soil nutrients. Permacultures require less human intervention than other forms of polyculture because of lower harvest and tillage rates. In many Latin American countries, agroforestry is a popular form of permaculture as well where trees and crops are grown together. Trees provide shade for the crops alongside organic matter and nutrients when they shed their leaves or fruits; the elaborate root systems of trees help prevent soil erosion and increase the presence of microbes in the soil. In addition to benefiting crops, trees act as commodities themselves for use in paper, firewood, etc. Growing coffee plants alongside other tree species in Mexico is a common practice of agroforestry.
Coffee is a shade-loving crop, is traditionally shade-grown. In India, it is grown under a natural forest canopy, replacing the shrub layer. A different polyculture system is used for coffee in Mexico, where the Coffea bushes are grown un
In agriculture, a nurse crop is an annual crop used to assist in establishment of a perennial crop. The widest use of nurse crops is in the establishment of legumaceous plants such as alfalfa and trefoil. Nurse crops are used for establishment of perennial grasses. Nurse crops reduce the incidence of weeds, prevent erosion, prevent excessive sunlight from reaching tender seedlings; the nurse crop can be harvested for grain, hay, or pasture. Oats are the most common nurse crop. Nurse cropping of tall or dense-canopied plants, may protect more vulnerable species through shading or by providing a wind break. Companion planting Multiple cropping
Three Sisters (agriculture)
The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of various Native American groups in North America: winter squash and climbing beans. Originating in Mexico, these three crops were carried northward, up the river valleys over generations of time, far afield to the Mandan and Iroquois who, among others, used these "Three Sisters" as trade goods. In a technique known as companion planting the three crops are planted close together. Flat-topped mounds of soil are built for each cluster of crops; each mound is about 30 cm high and 50 cm wide, several maize seeds are planted close together in the center of each mound. In parts of the Atlantic Northeast, rotten fish or eels are buried in the mound with the maize seeds, to act as additional fertilizer where the soil is poor; when the maize is 15 cm tall and squash are planted around the maize, alternating between the two kinds of seeds. The process to develop this agricultural knowledge took place over 5,000–6,500 years. Squash was domesticated first, with maize second and beans being domesticated.
Squash was first domesticated 8,000–10,000 years ago. The three crops benefit from each other; the maize provides a structure for the beans to climb. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds; the squash leaves act as a "living mulch", creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet. Native Americans throughout North America are known for growing variations of Three Sisters gardens; the milpas of Mesoamerica are gardens that employ companion planting on a larger scale. The Ancestral Puebloans are known for adopting this garden design in a drier environment; the Tewa and other peoples of the Southwestern United States included a "fourth Sister", Rocky Mountain bee plant, which attracts bees to help pollinate the beans and squash.
The Three Sisters planting method is featured on the reverse of the 2009 US Sacagawea dollar. Corn and beans were planted ca. 800 AD in the largest Native American city north of the Rio Grande known as Cahokia, in what is now known as the US state of Illinois, across the river from St Louis, Missouri. The Three Sisters crops were responsible for the surplus food that created an expanded population throughout the extended Mississippi River valley and tributaries, creating the Mississippian and Mvskoke cultures that flourished from ca. 800 ce to ca. 1600 when physical contact with Spanish explorers brought European disease and cultural collapse. The division of labor among the Iroquois and Seneca peoples was noted to be that women tended the crops, the'Three Sisters'; this was because men were more absent from their homes and villages for an extended amount of time while hunting, attending diplomatic missions, raiding. The initial preparation for the planting of the'Three Sisters' was performed by the men who cleared the land.
After the land was cleared, groups of women who were related to each other would do the planting and harvesting. Companion Planting-Three Sisters, Old Farmer's Almanac Virtual Museum of Canada, The St. Lawrence Iroquoians — virtual exhibit that includes information on Iroquoian agriculture and the Three Sisters