The research was initiated by the observation of intercropping legumes containing nitrogen-fixing properties with non-legume plants by Chinese farmers to speed up the nitrogen-fixing process and increase the natural supply of soil nitrogen. Though multiple sowing and harvesting to be carried out in intercropping will cause a rise in labour, the team predicts that the productivity will go up with less fertiliser used. Apart from increasing the food supply, such alternative could also help reduce the formation of ammonia and fine particulate matters, which will improve the air quality and environment in the long run.
Details of research findings are available at Environmental Research Letters.
Fung, K. M., Tai, A. P. K., Yong, T., Liu, X., & Lam, H. M. (2019). Co-benefits of intercropping as a sustainable farming method for safeguarding both food security and air quality. Environmental Research Letters. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aafc8b
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