In this article, we will see the difference between monoculture and polyculture farming.
What is monoculture?
Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or cultivating a single crop species, variety or race, plant or livestock in one field or agricultural system at a time.
A classic example is the cultivation of rice.
At Monoculture, there are some advantages and disadvantages. But above all, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
See also: Major types of soil found in India
Advantages of Monoculture
- Higher yield
- Anyone involved in monoculture will need to obtain knowledge only for those particular plants
- Marketing will be easy
Disadvantages of monoculture
- It can result in total crop failure due to homogeneous plants, and therefore pests can have a picnic
- Results in overproduction
- Destroys Soil Nutrients
- Results in the harmful use of chemicals
What is Polyculture?
Polyculture is the agricultural practice of producing more than one crop in the same space at the same time. Multi-cropping, intercropping, and alley cropping are a part of polyculture. This technique makes use of the given space, nutrients, and energy in a balanced way.
See also: Intercropping Types and Benefits
A classic example would be Coconut Groove with cocoa plants.
Rice cultivation with fish integration
Rice cultivation + Vegetables in the bunds + Fish integration + Duck culture
In polyculture, the advantages usually outweigh the disadvantages and therefore polyculture is recommended.
Advantages of Polyculture
- Diversification in the crops lessens the susceptibility to diseases and pests, thus, also reducing the risk of total crop failure
- Market risk is minimized
- Diseases can be controlled since pests will not be able to attack all plants.
- Increases soil health
- Reduces soil erosion
Disadvantages of polyculture
- You may need to acquire knowledge about multiple plants
- Marketing will be a little difficult