Agri-Talk: Integrated farming, a boon for Indian farmers

By Mayadhar Sethy

Rapid changes are taking place to meet the needs of an ever-increasing population and to increase the production of crops and livestock. If change is called evolution, these actions are called evolution in agricultural systems, and later, in the twenty-first century, the widespread use of exotic pesticides and chemical fertilizers has greatly increased agricultural productivity; the quality of the dead and the quality of the environment continue to deteriorate. Coordinated agricultural systems have become useful to maintain a balance between quality and quantity of agricultural production in such a critical situation.

The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a new United Nations report being launched today. With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline. It is a challenge to ensure this in today’s traditional farming methods.

According to a recent survey, India’s average agricultural area is shrinking, with 80 percent of the small farmers farming in traditional systems and financial constraints will accelerate it. About 75 percent of affected families in the developing financial system belong to rural communities. Those who are directly / indirectly involved in agriculture. Integrated agriculture is a multi- faceted agricultural concept which is very effective in solving the problems of small and marginal farmers. It will carry out crop production and animal husbandry, fish and animal husbandry or agriculture, fish farming and animal husbandry together.

Hence, it is also called coordinated biology. In this system, the waste of one product is invested as a resource in another system. This reduces costs and improves revenue. The aim of this approach is to integrate agricultural inputs and recycle crop residues within the farm to generate a small income. Integrated farming systems can ensure regular income for farmers below the poverty line.15 to 18 percent of the landless families of small and nomadic farmers in rural areas are supported in creating profitable livelihoods due to low agricultural productivity in traditional systems. The use of technology in agricultural systems will provide a potential solution to the problem. The research institutes of the country are giving more emphasis on agriculture and research, as the increase of ingredients is the only option to meet the needs of the growing population within the limited agricultural area. Integrated agriculture has become a revolutionary step in this direction.

Agricultural models developed by scientists are not only based on the professional preferences and criteria and priorities of scientists, but also based on the perceptions and needs of ordinary farmers. It is estimated that 12 percent of the population in India is directly dependent on manure. Animal manure is also a valuable fertilizer. One of the best uses of manure is dung- also is considered as the most renewable energy in developing rural areas. Not only this, but the manure can be used as a better fertilizer for agriculture and can be used in ponds for fish farming to fetch good returns. Both the health and the environment will be healthy from the fumes emitted in the kitchen. Both agricultural work and household management can be handled by women.

In particular, hill and tribal women are skilled at it. If the educational status is improved, women can also adopt innovative methods and set an example in the field of agriculture. Anticipating the feminization of the agricultural sector in long-term employment and developing women-centric farming systems will be a major challenge in the coming days, as men are migrating from rural areas to non-agricultural sectors. Integrated agriculture is beneficial for sustainably improving soil health, weed and pest control, and irrigation efficiency. It can protect the environment and farmland in adverse conditions and improve the income of rural people.

Some of the key features of integrated farming systems are:

  • Maximize all components of the enterprise to provide stable income.
  • Renewal/Up-gradation of Productivity and System Laws.
  • To protect natural biodiversity and soil quality.
  • Reduction of mortality and protection of livestock.
  • Joint Conference on Natural Resource Management (NRM) at national level with MGNREGA.
  • Women empowerment in agriculture.

Another popular practice of sustainable agriculture is aquaponics. It is a controlled environmental production system. It is a combination of fish farming (aquaculture) and soilless plant production (hydroponics). A healthy environment and a healthy body is what we all need. Which will provide a chemical-free agriculture? There is no doubt that a farmer who often practices indigenous knowledge is an excellent researcher.

Therefore, if the farmers, scientists, researchers and students of the country work with joint efforts and work skills, the welfare of the poor farmers will be achieved. Integrated farming systems have been an exemplary step in this direction.

(The writer is a research assistant at Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies, Bhubaneswar)

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