Cotton based intercropping: a climate-smart approach for fiber and food security

Iqbal Hussain, Shahid Saleem, Hafeez Ullah, Muhammad Nasir, Muhammad U. Iqbal, Muhammad A. Zafar, Allah D. Babar, Abdul Khaliq, Syed A. Masood, Hafiz A. Rauf, Fida Hussain, Shahbaz Ahmad


Intercropping, a farming technique that involves growing two or more crops together, has emerged as a potential solution for climate change and global warming. It holds particular importance in subsistence or resource-limited agricultural systems operating on the fringes of modern intensive agriculture. Intercropping offers the opportunity for genuine yield gains without additional inputs and can contribute to achieving "sustainable intensification" by enhancing yield stability while reducing resource requirements. In developing countries, the cultivation of cotton is declining due to the impact of changing climates. However, cotton-based intercropping presents a promising solution to address this issue. Implementing intercropping systems with cotton as a central crop, not only can increase yield but can also enhance stability in erratic climatic conditions. The primary advantage of growing two or more crops together in an intercropping system is the increase in productivity per unit of land. This farming practice optimizes the utilization of environmental resources, aiming to maximize crop production within a given area and timeframe. Intercropping allows for the inclusion of various crops such as cereals, legumes, and vegetables alongside the standing cotton crop. Each crop group brings diverse benefits and higher monetary returns. This review shows how various crops can be intercropped with cotton and the overall efficiency of cotton-based intercropping systems under climate change. 


Cereals; Climate change; Cotton; Intercropping; Legumes; Relay cropping


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