Moringa as option in intercropping and complementary crop to existing agricultural activities in South Africa

K.M. Swanepoel
Agriculture is seen as a high-risk enterprise by financial institutions despite the need to increase food production in a growing population. Moringa is seen as complementary rather than competitive to food security. Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. Moringa can be a very successful option to intercropping in South Africa. It is planted together with vegetables, fruit trees, essential oil plants and also medicinal plants. This is very important in food security and short-term and long-term benefits of existing and new planting of crops. The nutritional requirements of moringa are compatible with most crops and add to the financial viability of an agricultural enterprise as it reduces the risks of a single crop. Further benefits are the diversity and stability of fields; reduction in chemical/fertilizer application; and a complementary sharing of plant resources, such as nitrogen from N fixing plants are further benefits. Weed suppression, and a reduction in susceptibility to insects and disease is a bonus to every producer. The aim is to increase income through different sources and to complement land and labour demands across the year. Moringa is thus an excellent choice for mixed farming practises. Moringa is also suitable in multiple cropping, which is the practice of growing two or more crops in the same piece of land in the same growing seasons instead of one crop. It can be seen as form of polyculture that also works well in smaller farms.
Swanepoel, K.M. (2021). Moringa as option in intercropping and complementary crop to existing agricultural activities in South Africa. Acta Hortic. 1306, 115-120
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1306.14
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1306.14
diversity, resources, complementary, companion crop, financial viability
English
1306_14
115-120

Acta Horticulturae