Intercropping Soya and Maize [Uganda]

Ribo Kodi Aryo

technologies_2815 - Uganda

Completeness: 84%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Oloya John



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1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Soybean (Glycine max) and maize (Zea Mays) and planted together in the same field to increase soil fertility, production and household income.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Inter cropping is a practice where farmers cultivate two different crops in the same field. Usually, a leguminous crop (Soybean) is planted with a non-leguminous crop (Maize). The leguminous crop helps to fix nitrogen in to the soil; produce nitrogen generated from the decomposition of the rich crop residues, and adds nutrient to the soil. This in turn reduces the net demand for fertilizers based on nitrogen. The farmer planted soybean variety Maksoya 3N with a yield potential of 3,500 kg/ha; at a spacing of 10cm × 30cm with 2 seeds per hole and at a seed rate of 20 - 25 kg/acre. Longe 7H Maize variety was then sparsely inter-planted at a spacing of 30cm x 10m with 3 seeds per hole; in between the soybean.
Intercropping Maize and soybean is particularly important because soybean is mainly a cash crop and thus act as a source of income while the maize provides food for the household. If one crop fails, the other may survive hence acts as insurance against crop failure. Planting two crops in a field also reduces the workload associated with cultivating each crop in separate fields. The root systems of the two crops are at different soil layers hence competition for nutrients and water is minimal.
A good intercrop has the main crop and the minor crop. The main crop usually has the recommended seed rate of mono crop while the minor crop may be planted depending on its relative importance and effect on the main crop. However, in intercropping system, the yield potentials of each of the crops is realized.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.4 Videos of the Technology

Comments, short description:

Video on inter cropping maize and soya




Patuda Village, Paicho Parish -Paicho Sub-county , Gulu District

Name of videographer:

Issa Aiga

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Northern Region,Uganda

Further specification of location:

Gulu District

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts
  • create beneficial economic impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

1st rainny season (march - june) and 2nd rainy season (august-Nov)

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • integrated soil fertility management

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
management measures

management measures

  • M3: Layout according to natural and human environment
  • M4: Major change in timing of activities
  • M5: Control/ change of species composition

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Ps: subsidence of organic soils, settling of soil
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
  • Bl: loss of soil life

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

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Kaheru Prossy



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

7 acres

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

5000 per person per day

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Land preparation once in a year (March)
2. Planting Once in a year (April)
3. Weeding Once in a year (May)

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour for planting land persons 5.0 5000.0 25000.0 100.0
Labour labour for applying seed Persons 5.0 5000.0 25000.0 100.0
Equipment Hoe Pieces 4.0 10000.0 40000.0 100.0
Equipment Watering can Pieces 4.0 100000.0 400000.0 100.0
Equipment Slasher Pieces 3.0 7000.0 21000.0 100.0
Plant material Soya bean kgs 120.0 2500.0 300000.0 100.0
Plant material Maize seeds kgs 5.0 2000.0 10000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 821000.0

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Weeding Once a season
2. Harvesting Once a season

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour labour Persons 10.0 5000.0 50000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 50000.0

Annual crops.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labour takes most of the costs.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • animal traction
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

The land user is also a carpenter where he earns some additional income to support his technology (buying seed, paying for labour and equipment).

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

Utilizes small area for cultivation.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Quantity before SLM:

0.5 bag

Quantity after SLM:

3 bags

Comments/ specify:

Increased yield from soya and maize compared to before the technology.

crop quality

Comments/ specify:

Crops grow vigorously, good pod filling.

risk of production failure

Comments/ specify:

In case of one crop failure the other crop the other crop survives.

product diversity

Quantity before SLM:

1 crop

Quantity after SLM:

2 crops

Comments/ specify:

More than one crop in the field.

production area

Comments/ specify:

Due to intercropping.

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

Comments/ specify:

especially on seeds and labour

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


Ecological impacts


soil cover

Comments/ specify:

Maize stalks and soya wastes are left in the garden to provide mulch after decomposition.

nutrient cycling/ recharge

Comments/ specify:

The leguminous crop helps to fix nitrogen into the soil; produce nitrogen generated from the decomposition of the rich crop residues, and adds nutrient to the soil.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local hailstorm moderately

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly negative

Long-term returns:

slightly negative

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 11-50%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 11-50%

The land user started on their own after learning from other land users. The knowledge acquired from the land users was enough to make start on their own.

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
An assurance against crop failure - when one crop fails the other one steps in for food security and income.
Act as both a food and a cash crop.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The technology saves time for other activities in a year.
Can be replicated else where by other small scale and large scale farmers with similar or different pieces of land.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Competition for nutrients among crops and yield may not be like in mono culture. Ensuring proper crop combination per inter crop.
Congestion among crops if the spacing is not done well Ensuring proper spacing between crops.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
If the land user depends on inter cropping annual crops on may not be paying in the short run. Promote inter cropping with perennial crops like bananas for mulching using bananas.
Diversification (Livestock and other crops like beans and banana).
The way the inter crop looks now is not a good enough as the land user needs advice from the extension worker on how to do inter cropping with the right spacings and the appropriate used crops. A good intercrop skills should be provided such as including cover crops like beans and Mucuna Spp.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys


  • interviews with land users


When were the data compiled (in the field)?


Links and modules

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