(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.