Farming teaches man the way of living. In ancient times, farming had swung the cradle of civilisation. But its plight is remorsefully pathetic nowadays. Farming is underexploited and farmers are overexploited. To set things straight, both nature and future give us insightful solutions that we need to nurture. One such incredible solution to make farming healthy and farmers wealthy is the practise of Integrated Farming. Integrated Farming System (IFS) is nothing but the integration of various agricultural enterprises like cropping, animal husbandry, fishery, forestry, sericulture, mushroom cultivation, piggery, etc., in the motto of increasing the profit to the farmer. Integrated Farming System has the potential to benefit the farmers and help them increase their incomes which lies in line with the government’s pet ambition of doubling farmers’ income by March 2022.
To reiterate the importance of IFS, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is exhibiting a tableau on it, this Republic Day. This, being the first time the ICAR becoming a part of the republic day parade, it presents the tableau on the theme – “Integrated farming system for doubling farm income.” The front part of the tableau shows scientists developing farm technologies to ensure better incomes and also to support climate friendly agriculture. The central part of the tableau shows the celebration of farmers through Bihu dance. The rear portion of the tableau exhibits the role of Animal Husbandry in complementing crop production and supplementing human nutrient needs. The colourful educating tableau would be a definite feast for our eyes and a knowledge treat to our minds.
There are many success stories glorifying IFS across the country and here is one telling you how the superfluous practise amended the life of a farmer from Tamil Nadu. Mr R Ramasamy is a traditional farmer from Pasumbalur village in Perambalur district, practising farming since 40 years. Though he was successful in the initial days, in recent times he incurred losses. As he found it difficult to make the ends meet, he moved abroad to earn. After spending a few hard years there, he came back to his place and again thought of getting back to farming. When he visited a few neighbouring farms, he got the idea of setting up an IFS based farm.
The farm components in his 12 acres land are agricultural and horticultural crops, fishery, cattle, goats and piggery. The crops being grown are Paddy, Cotton, Sorghum, Tapioca, Sugarcane and Tuberose intercropped with Teak which is a special crop combination incessantly practised since 15 years. Maximum use of organic manures like Dasakavya, Panchakavya, Vermicompost and Azolla with occasional use of inorganic fertilizers makes the crops grow well and yields good profit. The fish pond in about half an acre has 700 – 800 fingerlings which are fed from the cattle, goat and piggery unit and 200 kg farmyard manure is obtained per day from the pond. Separate sheds are maintained for cattle, goats and piggery and they are fed with roughages, concentrates and tapioca leaves respectively. The construction of cattle, goat and piggery units is made in a systematic way, such that the wastes from these sheds are directed straight into the fish pond.
Mr Ramasamy has been practising this Integrated Farming System model since 4 years and has found it to be highly successful. He is able to earn reasonable profits and recommends fellows farmers to take up Integrated Farming System.
The main principle governing IFS, ‘the Reutilization of Wastes’, i.e. the waste from one component finds use as a valuable input to another component, makes IFS highly possible, logically profitable and suitably sustainable. The plurality of farm components ensures sure income for the farmer even when any of the crop fails. Moreover, input costs are reduced thereby increasing profits.
Thus, Integrated Farming System has the ability to revitalize farming and rejuvenate farmer’s income as well.
Chandini co-authoured with
Kanaka pooja. B.S, final year B.Sc (Agriculture) student in Imayam Institute of Agriculture and Technology at Trichy. She is usually interested in exploring new Agri Technologies. email@example.com