System of Crop Intensification (SCI) | Multiple Cropping

System of Crop Intensification (SCI)

The System of Crop Intensification (SCI) refers to an increase in agricultural production per unit of inputs. The input includes labour, land, time, fertilizer, seed, feed or cash. The aim is to achieve higher output with less use of or less expenditure on land, labor, capital, and water. Crop intensification technique includes intercropping, relay cropping, sequential cropping, ratoon cropping, etc

Need of System of Crop Intensification

  • Cropping systems has to be evolved based on climate, soil and water availability for efficient use of available natural resources.
  • The increase in population has put pressure on land to increase productivity per unit area, unit time and for unit resource used.
  • The cropping system should provide enough food for the family, fodder for cattle and generate sufficient cash income for domestic and cultivation expenses

Multiple Cropping

The practice of intensification of crop in time and space dimensions is referred as Multiple Cropping.

Types of Multiple Cropping (System of Crop Intensification)

The multiple cropping is furthered categorized into:

  • Intercropping
  • Sequential Cropping


The practice of growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same field is called intercropping. This type of system of crop intensification is in both time and space dimensions.

The intercropping is further classified into following types:

  • Mixed intercropping: Under mixed intercropping, two or more crops are grown simultaneously with no distinct row arrangement
  • Row intercropping: Under row intercropping, two or more crops are grown simultaneously where one or more crops are planted in rows
  • Strip intercropping: Under strip intercropping, two or more crops simultaneously in strips wide enough to permit independent cultivation but narrow enough for the crops to interact agronomically
  • Relay intercropping: Under relay intercropping, two or more crops simultaneously during the part of the life cycle of each. A second crop is planted after the first crop has reached its reproductive stage of growth, but, before it is ready for harvest

Sequential Cropping

The practice of growing two or more crops in sequence on the same field in a farming year is known as Sequential Cropping. The succeeding crop is planted after the preceding crop has been harvested. Crop intensification is only in time dimension. Thus, there is no intercrop competition.

Sequential Cropping is further classified into:

  • Double, triple and quadruple cropping: The two, three and four crops, respectively, on the same land are grown in a year in sequence
  • Ratoon cropping: The cultivation of the crop growth after harvest, although not necessarily for grain. This is essentially sequential cropping to give crop intensification in the time dimension and there is no intercrop competition

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