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Integrated Farming System: An Approach to Maximize Agricultural Efficiency

Integrated Farming System: An Approach to Maximize Agricultural Efficiency

    Integrated Farming System: An Approach to Maximize Agricultural Efficiency

19 Feb, 2024

An integrated farming system is also called a biological integrated system. which includes natural resources in farming practices to get the utmost benefit. It replaces off-farm inputs and sustains agricultural income. The productivity of a multi-cropping system increases by integration of components. These can be dairy, poultry, or fishery components. Integrated agriculture farming also helps small and marginal farmers increase their income. Thus improving their standard of living. The integrated cultivation system also brings nutritional security to a farmer’s family. Farmers can provide components such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, and milk to their families. They can even earn from the surplus amount of these components.

Furthermore, farmers can also enhance their income and save their production costs. They can recycle by-products of crop components. Hence, this practice can also increase the value of labor absorption in Integrated Farming System farms. These components come under integration within the farm. The Integrated farming system is suitable for socio-economic imperatives. The adoption rates of integrated agriculture farming are also less among farmers. Hence, to get the advantages of an integrated farming system to its fullest. Farmers should be aware of the use of an integrated farm management system.

So, today, we will delve into the examples of integrated farming. Plus, Its advantages and disadvantages. And various models and objectives of integrated farming systems.

Components of Integrated Farming System 

Integrated agriculture farming includes different components such as crops (field crops, horticultural). It also includes agroforestry (agri-silviculture, agri-horticulture, horti-pastoral), livestock, fishery, mushroom and bee culture. Thus, the waste of one process is used as the input for other processes for better productivity. Some of the components of an integrated farming system with examples are below:

  • Crops - cereals, oilseeds, pulses, fruits, vegetables, flowers, sugarcane. It also includes fiber crops, spices, agriculture forests, etc

  • Livestock and poultry - cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, rabbits, bees, pigs, duck, poultry, etc

  • Fishery - composite fish culture, paddy cum fish culture, etc

  • Secondary agriculture - Bee cultivation, mushroom cultivation, Food processing, vermicomposting, silk cultivation, etc.

Objective of Integrated Farming System 

The Integrated Farming System aims to sustain farm income, family nutrition, and ecosystem services. Moreover, the system is also based on the following objectives such as:

  • The integrated farming system focuses on lowering the waste from several subsystems of the farm. It involves expanding the symbiotic or synergistic systems between livestock, and aquaculture. It even includes agriculture and agroindustry. So that the waste from one process becomes the input for another process. Furthermore, it also enables the use of generated waste for means of production. It provides energy, fertilizer, and feed, for improved productivity at less cost.

  • The integrated cultivation system also aims to improve ecological diversity. It does by selecting the right cropping pattern, such as cropping, and intercropping. This helps in reducing competition (including mixed crop rotation). It also improves water, nutrition, and space.

  • An integrated cultivation system also uses the entire farm area for farming. Thus providing more earning opportunities for farmers. It also fosters interactions between biotic and abiotic components.

  • Farmers also get the opportunity to improve the farm household's dietary diversity. And achieve sustainable livelihoods by diversifying the rural farm activities to reduce risks.

Models of Integrated Farming Systems

Integrated farming system models in india are dependent on resource availability. And the physical location, market access, water availability, and agro-climatic situations. It does not include any specific integrated farming model. Some of the combinations of integrated farming system models are:

Fish and livestock Integrated Farming:

	fish and livestock integrated farming

This combination can include rearing fish and livestock besides other farming methods. Further, the fish get food from the waste of plants such as leaves, stalks, etc. Plankton is the best food source for fish. And this can be grown through livestock manure grown near fish farms. Even, farmers can also do silkworm farming near fish farms.

Fish-duck Integrated Farming:

fish and duck integrated farming

Ducks rearing in fish ponds can be beneficial for farmers as duck rearing can save up to 60% of the production cost. It provides a suitable environment for fish. The duck's manure and waste provide nutrients to fish. Besides, ducks get their food from aquatic grasses, insects, and earthworms. Moreover, Ducks need less food. Farmers also provide kitchen waste, molasses, etc to feed them.

Cattle-Fish Integrated Farming:

cattle and fish integrated farming

This system provides high nutritional value in washing cattle sheds. Farmers can use the waste cattle shed as food for fish. Wide cattle sheds can also develop from the widespread fish pond. This technique also drains the waste and water into the pond.

Fish and Agriculture Integrated Farming:

fish and agriculture integrated farming

Fish farming cum horticulture farming comes out as the best combination. Small farmer families need about 200 m2 of land to fulfill their needs. The fish ponds cover more than 200 m2 of land. Thus, ponds cover 25 to 35% of the area.

Horticulture and livestock Integrated Farming: 

horticulture and livestock integrated farming

Farmers can also integrate vegetables and fruits with livestock. This combination benefits farmers in many ways, as manure produced can be used for improving crop productivity. Also, it offers a source for diversified income. For instance, farmers can include dairy cows in horticulture farming.

Agroforestry: 

agroforestry

Many farmers nowadays plant more trees around their farm together with crops and livestock. Growing trees also benefit the farm in soil conservation. And also improves the biodiversity and water quality in farms. For instance, farmers can grow fruit plants, dates or coconut plants as well.

Horticulture with fishery and piggery Integrated Farming:

horticulture with fishery and piggery integrated farming

Crops and pig dung can be used as fertilizer in ponds. Fishes can feed on pig dung easily. In addition, Pond water can also be utilized for cleaning the pig impurities and waste of its excreta. Also, trees can provide shade for fishery ponds and can also be utilized as fodder for orchard trees that improve soil quality.

Integrated Pest management: 

integrated pest management

This method focuses on developing a system that depends on natural predators, and biological control agents to manage the disease and pest outbreak in plants. Also, this method can improve crop production and enhance the quality of yields. Thus, farmers can save the cost of chemical pesticides by relying on these natural products from their farms.

Advantages of Integrated Farming System for Farmers 

  • An integrated farming system introduces an improved method of farming practices. It gains more input for farmers. Farmers can get benefits with less production cost. And also allows the most use of farm resources.

  • Integrated agriculture farming can also recycle farm resources for production needs. For example, a combination of agriculture could be poultry, dairies, pigs, fishers, silkworms, etc. Besides farming can provide benefits to farmers in raising their farming income.

  • The system also increases crop production to fulfill the needs of the nation. Also, increases the farmer's income by reusing and recycling residues and by-products.

  • It also benefits the environment by reducing pollution by recycling animal waste. It even the production cost of farmers, inducing more income generation.

  • Integrated cultivation systems can also generate steady income for farmers. They can generate products such as eggs, meats, milk, vegetables, fruits, and, silkworms. Growing fodder crops by intercropping and border cropping generates nutritious food for animals. 

Disadvantages of the Integrated Farming System 

  • To get dual benefits from an integrated farming system. Farmers should be aware of the double responsibilities related to integrated farm management. Every sphere of farming will have its own set of features. And methods of rearing and growing crops and animals.

  • Growing fish, cattle rearing, and plant farming often contradict each other. For example, avoiding giving food to crops or plants that can harm the other animals on the farm.

  • In an Integrated farming system, it is necessary to study everything before starting farming. Also, consider the facts and effects. For e.g, planning to increase the yield with the help of manure. Also, knowing how much is required to avoid access is important. This can harm instead of doing good.

  • It also becomes necessary to look after preventing pollution. So, proper management and care of farms is important.

Conclusion

Different methods of Integrated farming systems provide farmers with an opportunity to increase their income. hence, farmers should adopt various methods of integrated agriculture farming. Furthermore, the integrated farming system benefits farmers by improving farm productivity. And brings low production costs. Farmers can improve their income by including components like crops, livestock, and fisheries. Farmers can also benefit by reusing and recycling resources. Thus, increasing their income and improving pollution through efficient management of animal waste.

The integrated farming system also comes with a set of challenges for farmers. this includes the need for awareness and double responsibilities. Also, resolving problems between different agriculture components is one of them. Despite these difficulties, spreading awareness. Also, Bringing support for integrated farm management can encourage better farm outputs.

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Recently Asked Question about Integrated Farming System: An Approach to Maximize Agricultural Efficiency

What is an Integrated Farming System?

The Integrated Farming System (IFS) is an eco-friendly agricultural approach that integrates diverse farming components such as crops, livestock, fishery, and more.

What are the benefits of Integrated Farming System?

Some benefits of the Integrated Farming System include increased income and productivity, reduced production costs, as well as improved soil health and biodiversity.

What are the different models of Integrated Farming System?

Fish and Livestock Farming, Fish-Duck Farming, Cattle-Fish Farming, and Horticulture-Livestock Farming are distinct models within the Integrated Farming System.

How does Integrated Farming System benefit the environment?

Integrated Farming System reduces pollution by recycling animal waste, promotes sustainability, and lowers production costs for environmentally friendly farming.

What challenges do farmers face with Integrated Farming System?

Integrated Farming System (IFS) poses challenges for farmers, such as awareness gaps, dual responsibilities, and conflicts among diverse agricultural components.

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