Integrated Farming System (IFS)
Integrated Farming System (IFS) in a complex related matrix of soil, plants, animals, implements, power, labour, capital and other on and off farm inputs influenced to varying degrees by political, economical, institutional and social factors that operate at many levels. The farming system therefore, refers to the farm as an entity to inter dependent farming enterprises carried out on the farm. For this purpose, the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques and situational analysis methodology have been followed. This will help in planning IFS modules to empower the small and medium farmers.
More than 70 percent of the Indian farming community own less than one hectare of land. They are categorized as small and marginal farmers. Owing to unpredictable weather conditions, crop failures and unstable market prices, they are a dejected lot and feel that except for going in for a single crop, they cannot dream of venturing any other new practice or improved technology for improving their conditions. To address the needs of such farmers and to ensure sustainable living for them, a low cost farming system model integrating farming system practices and watershed concepts has been advised.
The new theory of farming is of Food Security with Organic Farming for safety of food and Natural Farming being from without chemicals, hence, Integrated Farming System to be adopted.
Thus IFS approach has multiple objectives of sustainability, food security, farmer security and poverty reduction. It involves use of outputs of one enterprise component as inputs for other related enterprises wherever feasible, for example, cattle dung mixed with crop residues and farm waste can be converted in to nutrient-rich vermi-compost. The salient features of IFS include – innovation in farming for maximising production through optimal use of local resources, effective recycling of farm waste for productive purposes, community-led local systems for water conservation, organic farming, and developing a judicious mix of income-generating activities such as dairy, poultry, fishery, goat-rearing, vermi composting and others. XXX builds farmer capacities for adoption of productive, remunerative, eco-friendly and self-sustaining integrated farming systems.
Farming system is a decision making unit comprising the farm household, cropping and livestock system that transform land, capital and labour into useful products that can be consumed or sold
Most of the requirements of the farm family and farm animals are produced in the model on a sustainable basis supplemented with regular flow of cash income through several farm related subsidiary enterprises.
Farming system consist of several enterprises like cropping system, dairying, piggery, poultry, fishery, bee, keeping etc. these enterprises are interrelated. The end product and wastes of one enterprise are used as inputs in others. The waste of dairying like dung, urine, refuse etc. is used for preparation of FYM, which is an input in cropping systems. The straw obtained from the crops is used as fodder for cattle’s are used for different field operations for growing crops. Thus different enterprises of farming systems are highly interrelated.
Income through arable farming
alone is insufficient for bulk of the marginal farmers. The other activities
such as dairying, poultry, sericulture, apiculture, fisheries etc. assume
critical importance in supplementing their farm income.