There are two main arguments for Inter-cropping: It can provide additional short term income and can help the bamboo plant to grow. It can also generate income in the first year whereas the bamboo is only harvested after year three. The final decision for inter-cropping will always be based on a number of factors which are different in every part of the world.
There are various crops suitable for inter-cropping are banana, beans, ginger, tapio and groment. Banana intercropped between the bamboo plants is quite common and has the effect of providing shadow to the plant and having a fast growing banana plant which provides the young bamboo plant nice shadow to grow better.
Intercropping perennial grasses can improve the soil quality and increase its organic content. Perennial energy crops need considerably less fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide than annual row crops. Miscanthus is one of the most promising herbaceous perennial grasses. It produces high yields and can be harvested annually for several years before replanting.
Currently Darlow is conducting a site evaluation of a micro-propagated species of grass, referred to as Giant King Grass or Bana Grass as it is sometimes called. This strain is cultivated under the same conditions as Miscanthus; however it has the potential to yield 100 tons per Hectare in the first year of cultivation