Tree Intercropping: A Sustainable Way to Regenerate Land

By Ariana Nieves,
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)

Tree Intercropping FieldIntercropping is an agricultural practice that Chinese farmers have utilized for more than two thousand years. Tree intercropping involves intermingling trees, and crops close together. Over the past few decades, industry professionals have seen this technique as a land-regenerative practice. Many benefits come along with this, but two of the best are increased land productivity and carbon capture in the soil.

Including a diversity of crops helps to advance biodiversity by providing a habitat for more soil organisms and insects than would be present in a single crop environment. Additionally, it promotes mutually beneficial relationships among the plants. For example, planting a tall tree next to a short crop that requires shade or planting a deep-rooted crop with a short-rooted crop. Ensuring plants are compatible is vital to delivering the best outcome for growers.

Before starting the process, however, growers must consider several factors, such as the topography, climate, crop, and culture. Once placed, intercropping can reduce erosion, protect fast-growing annual plants, and provide shade for light-sensitive crops.

Professionals estimate that the broad implementation of tree intercropping will play a crucial role in Climate Change mitigation efforts soon. Tree intercropping is a beneficial practice to increase sustainability and help ensure the protection of the planet we all share.


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