Cereal-cowpea intercropping for sustainable intensification in sub-Saharan Africa

Picture copyright CIMMYT

Intercropping is a common sustainable practice that improves land productivity in smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa. Namatsheve et al. reviewed the main cereal-cowpea intercropping systems, comprising maize, sorghum, and pearl millet. Intercropping increased land productivity by 25-40% compared to monocropping systems, with cowpea intercropped being able to contribute significant amounts of nitrogen to the system. The authors suggest several ways to improve these systems.