Legume-Maize Intercropping System: An Alternative Pathway for Sustainable Agriculture
International Journal of Plant & Soil Science,
Intercropping provides ample scope to include two or more crops simultaneously in same piece of land thus targeting higher productivity from unit area on sustainable basis. Maize, a cereal crop of immense importance, planted in wide rows offers the possibility for adoption of intercropping. The intercropping system with maize and legume is beneficial in multiple aspects. The success of maize-legume intercropping system largely depends on choice of crops and their maturity, density, and time of planting. Advantage of maize-legume intercropping system is promoted in the form of higher yield and greater utilization of available resources, benefits in weeds control [1,2], pests and disease management , fixation of biological nitrogen by legumes and transfer of N to associated maize [4,5], insurance against crop failure to small holders, and control of erosion by covering a large extent of ground area . Though maize-legume intercropping system exhibits limitations like less scope of farm mechanization, dependence on more human workforce, and chance of achieving less productivity from maize, the system implies more advantages for small holders in developing countries where human workforce is not a constraint.
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