Sustainable development in agriculture must include integrated farming systems with efficient soil, water, crop and pest management practices, which are environmental friendly and cost effective. The future agricultural system should reorient from the single commodity system to food diversification approach for sustaining food production and for increasing farm productivity. Integrated Farming System (IFS) therefore, assume greater importance for sound management of farm resources to enhance farm productivity which will reduce environmental degradation and improve the quality of resource poor farmers and to maintain agricultural sustainability. Thus IFS is based on the concept that “there is no waste”, and “waste is only a misplaced resource which can become a valuable material for another product”. The continuous flow of money from one or other component system minimises the financial burden on the farmers. A judicious mix of agricultural enterprises like field crop, horticulture crop, dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery, sericulture etc. suited to the given agro-climatic conditions and socioeconomic status of the farmers will bring prosperity in the farming. Thus, an integrated farming system allows us not only to solve all our production issues but will also help in utilising waste materials or by-products which results in less pollution mitigating global warming to some extent by reducing release of Green House Gases thereby improving public health.
Integrated Farming System Model for 1.0 Hectare Land Holding At Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat
Integrated Farming System (IFS) seems to be an answer to solve the problem of increasing food production, income and improving nutrition of the small and marginal farmers. With only crop component by-product may go waste or even create pollution; but in Integrated Farming System these by-product may be utilized in livestock or fishery enterprises. Hence, integration of different agricultural allied enterprises with crop activity as base will provide ways to recycle produces/waste materials of one component as input of the other linked component and to reduce the cost of production of economic produce of component, enhance the net income of the system, reduces pollution from bio-waste, improve soil fertility and reduces resources degradation.
Assuring a family having 5 members (Man-1; Woman-1; Boy-2; Girl-1), the annual food requirement was calculated for the family and the IFS model was developed at AAU Campus, Jorhat. The land and resource allocations were made to meet up the family requirement (of five members) as far as possible by allocating resources among different components and the Land Use Pattern is presented in Table below.
Table: Land use pattern
|1. Land allotted to animal shed, store house, Apiary, Vermi-compost unit, Threshing floor and common uses||1050 sqm|
|2. Area under cereals, pulse, oilseed and fodder to meet household food , feed and fodder demand .||3846 sqm|
|3. Rice+ Vegetable||1450 sqm|
|4. Fruit and Fodder crops||950 sqm|
|5. Water harvesting structure with Fishery Unit||920 sqm|
|6. Raised and sunken bed system||1200 sqm|
|7. Seed bed/ Nursery||500 sqm|
|8. Passage, Drain etc.||84 sqm|