(The Gist of Kurukshetra) INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEMS (IFS) [OCTOBER-2019]
(The Gist of Kurukshetra) INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEMS (IFS)
INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEMS (IFS)
One of the best approaches for implementing best management practices in agriculture is by building farm resilience through spreading risks and creating buffers, i.e. not putting 'all fruits in one basket'.
The Integrated Farming Systems approach is considered as important and relevant, especially for the small and marginal farmers as location-specific IFS will be more resilient and adaptive to climate variability. Integration of livestock rearing with crop production gives higher economic returns as compared to crop production alone for both marginal and small farmers.
On station and on-farm research in different regions of the country has resulted in identification of many sustainable and profitable IFS models for rainfed areas. In general, in regions with rainfall of 500 to 700 mm, the farming systems should be based on livestock with promotion of low-water requiring grasses, trees and bushes to meet fodder, fuel and timber requirements of the farmers. In 700 to 1,100 mm rainfall regions, crops, horticulture and livestock-based farming systems can be adopted depending on the soil type and the marketability factors. Runoff harvesting is a major component in this region in the watershed-based farming system. In areas where the rainfall is more than 1,100 mm, IFS module integrating paddy with fisheries is ideal.
Under irrigated areas the following IFS models are most suitable to maintain soil fertility and productivity.
- Intensification and diversification of crop component of farming system.
- Diversification of other components of farming system for higher income
- IFS proves it's tremendous potential for developing farms to their optimum levels by integrating different enterprises in a farming system mode to make agriculture a profitable venture for farmers under different agro-climatic and ecological situations.
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