Oil palm is a wide spaced perennial crop with a long juvenile period of 3 years. Any remunerative crop can be grown, but the most suitable crops are vegetables, banana, flowers, tobacco, chillies, turmeric, ginger, pineapple etc.
While growing intercrops in mature oil palm gardens of 8- 12 years age or palms attained a height of 3 metres, intercrops should be able to grow under partially shaded conditions and should not compete with oil palm for water, sunlight and nutrients (eg. cocoa, pepper, heliconia and ginger lilly).
Do not cut the oil palm fronds. Do not tie oil palm fronds close to the stem for intercropping, which will reduce photosynthetic activity. Do not plough close to the palm base, which will cut the absorbing roots and thereby reduce intake of water and nutrients.
Maximum number of green leaves should be retained on the palm.