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Development and evaluation of an improved integrated farming system (ifs) for higher profitability and livelihood security in northern plains of India

Author: 
Ram Bahal Rai, Kuldeep Dhama, Sandip Chakraborty, Thukkaram Damodaran, Balvir Singh, Hamid Ali, Sweta Rai, Saminathan Mani and Mohd.Yaqoob Wani
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The geographical area of India spreads over 329 million hectares is endowed with a complex diversity of climate and soil; flora and fauna. Integrated Farming System (IFS) is the main source of livelihood of nearly 65% rural masses dependant on agriculture. To overcome the problem of lower profitability in IFS, the concept and models of Specialized Integrated Farming System (SIFS) has been developed with 4 components viz. basal crops, medium duration cash crops, super short/short duration cash crops and value addition. The basal crop provides support to system like IFS. The present study was conducted during 2009-2012 in villages of Barabanki and Raebareli districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. Out of 42 families for whom data was recorded and evaluated, 24 families followed rice-wheat-oilseeds cropping system, reared cow /buffaloes (1-3 Nos.) and vegetables on part of land. In the SIFS models rural poultry, off-season vegetables and gladiolus were used for resource generation and expansion of the livelihood base. The novel technologies developed in the project viz. estrous induction and infertility control technology, low cost mastitis control technology, new rural poultry production technology, banana cultivation technology using bio-enhancer (CSR-BIO), vegetable cultivation using CSR-BIO were the main technological interventions in both the systems. Intercropping with mustard and wheat; pigeon pea and paddy; potato and vegetables varied farmer to farmers. In jersey crosses or in descript cows and murrah buffaloes different parameters were recorded. The lactation yield of cows was 500-600 lit. while in buffaloes it was 400-500 lits. The pooled inter-calving period was 27.8± 0.5 months. Marginal farmers readily adopted (82%) the technologies and harvested its benefits. In contrast farmers with large land holdings were less interested (46% adaption rate). The base line data reported engagements of family labour as 82 man days/per year. In mono-crop practicing farmers, it was 62 man days/yr and in SIFS model: 187 man days/yr (increased). The comparative net returns in all the 3 systems showed significant difference. The average net return in 3 years period in the area of 0.40 ha from traditional farming (control) was Rs. 96,000 whereas in integrated farming system practicing additional ventures of rural poultry and vegetables was Rs. 2,71,000/-. The profitability in specialized integrated farming system was Rs. 6,13,000/- and farmers adapted banana, rural poultry, gladiolus and vegetables. The input cost in subsequent years in traditional farming was more or less constant while it decreased by 25-35% in subsequent years in IFS models and thus especially the SIFS model proves to be profitable in the present scenario of decreased landholding.

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