How multiple cropping system is beneficial?

Multiple cropping:

It is defined as “growing of two or more than two crops in the same field in the same time in a year”.

Multiple cropping systems is not a new technique, it is practicing in:

  • Egypt 300B.C.
  • Maya Indians in central America
  • Incas in south America


Multiple cropping systems are not only beneficial for soil, but it is also beneficial for farmer as well as for the country.

  • It is a better source of soil utilization
  • It improves yield
  • Increase yield per unit of land
  • Increase the crop production
  • Export increase
  • Foreign exchange increase
  • Costs of input decrease as compared to individual crop growing cost
  • Reduce pest and disease attack
  • Different type of products can be produce at a time
  • It helps to produce a balance diet for a family
  • It helps to maintain the soil fertility
  • It helps to control weeds


Multiple cropping systems also have some disadvantages like:

  • The survival of pests become easy
  • Pests can easily shift from one crop to another crop
  • Problem of weed management
  • Implementation of new technology is difficult etc.

Types of multiple cropping:

There are many types of multiple cropping system:

  • Intercropping
  • Mixed cropping
  • Relay cropping
  • Sequential cropping
  • Ratoon cropping etc.


“Growing of two or more crops in the same field in a year, when one (major) crop is planted on rows first and other (minor) crop is planted between the rows”.

For example:

  • Sugarcane + oil seed crop (These crops also known as “companion crops”.)

Mixed cropping:

“Growing of those (two or more) crops simultaneously on the same field on the same time, which have same sowing and harvesting time.”

Relay cropping:

“Growing of two or more crops on the same field where they enjoy association of each other for a period of time”.


Multiple cropping systems can help to get maximum production and ultimately maximum foreign exchange which is necessary for a developing countries. But for multiple cropping can be done in that are where:

  • Irrigation water is abundantly available
  • Labour is available
  • All input resources are easily available etc.


Written by: Khadija Tehseen Arshad

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.



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