Integrated farming system-A holistic approach to doubling farmers’ income by 2022

RC Shakywar, Dinesh Sah, M Pathak, BM Singh and AK Pandey
Contd from previous issue
13. Integrated farming system forces the entrepreneur to know more things and hence improves the literacy level.
14. IFS provide opportunity for the growth of agri-oriented industries.
15. There is also advantage of increased input use efficiency.
16. Overall benefit of IFS is improved standard of living of the farmers because of the products like edible mushroom, fruits, eggs, milk, honey, vegetables etc.
Components in Integrated Farming Systems
a) Agriculture + Fish farming.
b) Horticulture + Duck rearing.
c) Forestry + Pigeon rearing.
d) Apiary + Mushroom cultivation.
e) Sericulture + Azolla farming.
f) Dairy + Kitchen gardening.
g) Poultry + Fodder production.
h) Goat rearing+ Nursery.
i) Sheep rearing + Seed Production.
j) Piggery + Vermiculture.
k) Rabbitory + Value addition.
Elements of Integrated Farming Systems
Following elements may be included in IFS demonstrations depending upon the individual farmer’s resources, interest and opportunities:
a) Bio-fertilizers
b) Bio-gas
c) Bio-pesticides (preparation of bio-control agents)
d) Compost making (Vermicomposting)
e) Farm ponds
f) Green manuring
g) Plant products as pesticides
h) Rain water harvesting
i) Solar energy
j) Watershed
Possible output of Integrated Farming Systems
Since Integrated Farming System (IFS) is an interrelated complex matrix of soil, water, plant, animal, environment and their interaction with each other enable the system more viable and profitable over the arable farming system. It leads to production of quality food. To strengthen the food chain, it is essential to eliminate nutritional disorder which has been realized on account of appearing deficiency of mineral nutrients and vitamins in food being consumed. Horticultural and vegetable crops can provide 2-3 times more energy production than cereal crops on the same piece of land and will ensure the nutritional security on their inclusion in the existing system. Similarly, inclusion of bee-keeping, fisheries, sericulture, mushroom cultivation on account of space conservative also give additional high energy food without affecting production of food grains. The integration of these enterprises will certainly help the production, consumption and decomposition in a realistic manner in an ecosystem.
Present status of farming system research
The preliminary investigations clearly elucidated the integration of agricultural enterprises viz, crop, livestock, fishery, forestry etc. have great potential towards improvement in the agricultural economy. These enterprises not only supplement the income of the farmer by increasing the per unit productivity but also ensure the rational use of the resources and further create employment avenues.
The following of suitable crop choice criteria having deep and shallow root system, inclusion of legume crop as catch, cover, fodder crops and adoption of bio-intensive cum alimentary cropping system along with other enterprise will certainly prove as a self-sustained production system with least cost of production.     (To be contd)