TODAY -

Integrated farming system
- A holistic approach to doubling farmers' income by 2022 -
- Part 1 -

RC Shakywar / Dinesh Sah / M Pathak / BM Singh / AK Pandey *



Agriculture is the backbone of our country. Crop production and animal husbandry is an important practice being carried out since time immemorial, but with the change in time, the practices have been changed keeping in view the local/regional and National demands.

Farming is a process of harnessing solar energy in the form of economic plant and animal products. System implies a set of inter related practices and processes organized into functional entity, i.e. an arrangement of components or parts that interact according to some process and transforms inputs into outputs.

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Sh. Narendra Modi has dreamt of doubling the income of every farmer in the country by year 2022 when the country will celebrate its 75th year of independence.

It's a challenging task, but we are resolute. We will accomplish this through time bound planning and execution. Eastern India, Assam and the North East have a great role to play in bringing second green revolution in the country.

Integrated farming is a whole farm management system which aims to deliver more sustainable agriculture. Integrated farming combines the best of modern tolls and technologies with traditional practices according to a give site and situation. In simple worlds it means using many ways of cultivation in a small available space or land.

Goals of Integrated Farming System

The four primary goals of Integrated Farming System are-
1) Maximization of yield of all component enterprises to provide sound and stable income.
2) Rejuvenation of system's productivity and achieve agro-ecological equilibrium.
3) Avoid build up of diseases, insect pests cropping system management and keep them at low level of intensity.
4) Reducing the use of chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) to provide chemical free healthy produce and environment to the society.

Advantages of Integrated Farming System

1. Increased productivity through increased economic yield per unit area per time by virtue of intensification of crop and allied enterprises.
2. Improved profitability achieved mainly by way of reduced costs due to recycling of wastes of one enterprise as energy inputs for other systems.
3. Greater sustainability in production on farm due to integration of diverse enterprises of different economic importance. Recycling of wastes being in built in the system, this helps to reduce dependence on external high-energy inputs thus conserving natural and scarce resources.
4. Integration of different production systems provides an opportunity to solve malnutrition problem due to production of variety of food products.
5. The recycling of wastes for production helps to avoid piling of wastes and consequent pollution.
6. The farming system provides flow of money to the farmer round the year by way of disposal of eggs, milk, edible mushroom, honey, silkworm cocoons etc. This will help resource poor farmer to get out from the clutches of moneylenders/agencies.
7. Because of the linkage of dairy/mushrooms/sericulture/fruit crops/vegetable crops/flower cultivation etc. cash available round the year could induce small and marginal farmers adopt new technologies such as fertilizer, pesticides etc.
8. Recycling of organic wastes reduces requirement of chemical fertilizer. Further, biogas production can meet household energy requirement. Thus, IFS, goes a long way in solving energy crises.
9. Fodder/pasture/tree species included in the system help to get more fodder and thus solve fodder crises to some extent.
10. Silvi component used in the system provides fuel and timber wood.
11. Inclusion of timber component in the farming system reduces pressure on forests.
12. Diverse components integrated can provide enough scope to employ farm labour round the year.
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.

For further details contact:-
Public Relations& Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal.
Email: prmmcell@gmail.com


To be continued...


* RC Shakywar / Dinesh Sah / M Pathak / BM Singh / AK Pandey wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writers are from College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat-791102, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, East Siang, College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat 791102, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
This article was webcasted on April 28 2022 .



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