Sustainable farm income through use of efficient farm management practices
- Part 1 -

Y Chakraborty Singh *

Income of the farm is derived from the sale of the output produced by the farm at the price prevailing in the market. Due to existence of large number of buyers and sellers, agricultural markets are perfect competition market. In a perfect competition market, producing farms are price taker not price maker.

Farms should sell their output at the price prevailing in the market which is determined by the market demand and market supply at that point of time. Farm income thus, by and large depends on the level of output produced and marketed by the farm.

Hence, sustainable farm income is the outcome of the sustainable agricultural production. Basically “sustainable agriculture is a system of production in the long run which involves successful management of farm resources to satisfy the changes in human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources”.

For sustainable farm income, farms should produce output to cope up the adverse market condition. Farm management practices can play a pivotal role in sustainable agriculture production in the long run. It is an art as well as science which deals with obtaining the maximum continuous net income from the farm as a whole.

Farm management involves decision making for choosing alternative strategies in the use of the factors of production viz., land, labour, capital and organization to achieve its objectives and goals. Among the various objectives, two important objectives are i) continuousincome earning and ii) cost minimization, with the goal of improvement in the socio-economic condition of the farm family. The objectives and goals can be achieved through proper management of the factors of production.


Land is the most important factor of production in a farm. Productivity of land is adversely affected by the intensity of its use. It should be used to maintained its fertility, and if any investment should be for improvement of land and income of the farm. The nutrients and water draw out by the growing plants should be restored in order to maintain the crop yields in the future.

Land management should centre on the maintenance, rather than an improvement of soil fertility. Deterioration of soil and its fertility takes place by various factors such as continuous cropping, soil erosion by wind and water, growth of weeds, infestation of pests etc.

Soil fertility can be replenished by
i) proper cultivation and fallowing of land
ii) addition of manures and fertilizers
iii) growing leguminous crops
iv) green manuring
v) eradication of weeds and extermination of pests
vi) levelling and bunding
vii) drainage in water logged soils
viii) washing away the excess salt from the soils and
ix) crop rotation.

Farm management practices and its effects is presented below:

Farm Management Practices and their Effects

1. Apply optimum dose of manures and fertilizers – (a) For higher cropping intensity and productivity and (b) Minimize cost.
2. Proper tillage of soil – (a) To kill weeds and destroy insect pest and diseases (b) Aerate soil to facilitate chemical and biological process (c) Open up the soil for plant root penetration and (d) Conserve soil moisture in rain-fed areas.

3. Farm layout – (a) To minimize cost and increased efficiency in factor use and (b) to formulate cropping plan
4. Growing leguminous crops – (a) Fixed atmospheric nitrogen to the soil
5. Green manuring – (a) Enhance nitrogen content and organic matter in the soil
6. Eradication of weeds – (a) To reduce competition with plants for nutrients, space, water and soil and (b) To reduce hosting of plant diseases and pest
7. Control of pest – (a) To increase crop yield and (b) To prevent spread of diseases
8. Levelling of farm - (a) For efficient distribution of irrigation water to the root zone of the plants (b) to minimize soil erosion and (c) to increase water, labour and energy use efficiency

9. Bunding of field/plot – (a) To prevent soil erosion and (b) to store nutrients from run-off
10. Drainage system – (a) Check water logging
11. Washing of excess salt – (a) To increase crop productivity and returns from farm and (b) to control soil erosion
12. Crop rotation – (a) To prevent soil depletion, erosion and maintain soil fertility and (b) to prevent diseases and control weeds and insect pests
13. Crop diversification – (a) To reduce farm business risk (b) For proper use of by-products and (c) For regular and quick returns of farm income


Labour is an active factor of production. It is a living thing and cannot be separated from the labourer. Management of labour is to increase its efficiency and productivity.


1. Ability of the labourer: Climate, health, hereditary qualities, standard of living, intelligence, training and experience.
2. Desire to work: Wage, nature of work, prospects of higher wages, political and social environment.
3. Facilities of wok: Working conditions, tools and implements to be used, co-operation from others etc.


1. Increasing labour efficiency through planning

To increase the efficiency of farm labourers working on the farm, the farm manager should perform the following task:
(i) Plan the work before one day ahead.
(ii) Check the tools, implements and machines for their proper working conditions.
(iii) Provide the require facilities to the labourer.
(iv) Assign the work according to capacity and ability of the labourer for optimum efficiency.
(v) No overlapping of work assignment.
(vi) Set a work standard base on government farm or prevailing in the locality and appraise it to the labourer.
(vii) Indoor work should also be arranged to employ the labourers as and when require.
(viii) Physical strength of the labourer should also consider.

2. Increasing labour efficiency through supervision and training

Supervision and training of labourers also increases their efficiency. The following functions should be carried out for increasing efficiency:

(i) Examine at least twice or thrice while working forsatisfactory result.
(ii) Should have practical knowledge to instruct the labourers.
(iii) Well experienced labourer should be appointed as group leader of labourers.
(iv) Clear understanding about the nature of the work to be done.
(v) Indiscipline, dishonesty, unpunctual, inefficiency labourers has no place.
(vi) Maintained personnel contact with the labourers.
(vii) Take active interest for the welfare of the labourers.
(viii) Prompt payment of labourer’s wages.
(xi) Wages should be paid discriminately base on experience, ability and length of continuous service on the farm.
(x) Ready to pay incentives, reward and bonus.
3. Increasing labour efficiency through facilities to the labourers
(i) Provide housing facilities if possible.
(ii) Provision for getting daily needs at co-operative line at reasonable and cheaper rates.
(iii) Recreation facilities to the workers.

To be continued.....

* Y Chakraborty Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is from Dept. of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, CAU Imphal, Manipur
This article was webcasted on May 15, 2023 .

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