Difference between Monoculture and Polyculture Farming

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.

Coconut Groove

Mango Orchard

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

  1. Simplicity
  2. Higher yield
  3. Anyone involved in monoculture will need to obtain knowledge only for those particular plants
  4. Marketing will be easy

Disadvantages of monoculture

  1. It can result in total crop failure due to homogeneous plants, and therefore pests can have a picnic
  2. Results in overproduction
  3. Destroys Soil Nutrients
  4. Results in the harmful use of chemicals

Difference between monoculture and polyculture farming

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

  1. Diversification in the crops lessens the susceptibility to diseases and pests, thus, also reducing the risk of total crop failure
  2. Market risk is minimized
  3. Diseases can be controlled since pests will not be able to attack all plants.
  4. Increases soil health
  5. Reduces soil erosion

Disadvantages of polyculture

  1. You may need to acquire knowledge about multiple plants
  2. Marketing will be a little difficult

See also:

Advantages and disadvantages of greenhouse technology

Advantages and disadvantages of mulching

Advantages of crop rotation