Plantain fields are arranged in rows spaced at about 3m x 2m. as the canopy closes only to about 5 to 6 months after planting, a fair amount of inter-row space remains un-exploited during the first months.
This space can be used for plants which have a short life cycle and which do not compete with the plantains for example, plants like Groundnut, Yam, Cocoyam and Maize are suitable inter-crops although maize effectively delays the plantain harvest by about 2months.
Cassava and Cowpea are not suitable because their yields are reduced under the shade of plantain rows. Plantains can be used as a shade crop for young cocoa and coffee plants.