The goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land, by making use of space that would otherwise be wasted with a single crop. Careful planning is required, taking into account the soil, climate, crops and varieties. It is particularly important not have crops competing with each other for space, nutrients, water or sunlight.
Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade.
Intercropping of compatible plants also encourages biodiversity, by providing a habitat for a variety of insects and soil organisms that would not be present in a single crop environment.