Integrated farming means combining crop production with livestock management. It is the integration of cropping, livestock management including poultry, fish keeping, etc. Here aim is at efficient sustainable resource management for increased productivity in the cropping system.
Advantages of IFS –
- Higher productivity in crops and maximum resource utilisation
- Agricultural waste like crop residue is used as the input for livestock, and the waste from livestock is used in agriculture, thus nutrient recycling
- Income diversification for farmers and income security → even if the crop fails, farmers will have income from other sources
- Sustainable agriculture – local breeds and varieties are encouraged in this
- Nutrition security for farming families → have access to cereals, meat, dairy, fruits, etc..
- Less pollution of natural water bodies
- According to the Agriculture Census 2015, India has 86% small and marginal farmers, hence ensuring their livelihood is critical to ensuring inclusive growth. Small and marginal farmers should always be encouraged to implement IFS.
- More credit facilities must be given to small and marginal farmers so that they can afford cattle, fish, pigs, etc and diversify their agriculture
- Lack of awareness among farmers and hesitancy to adopt newer farming systems and technologies.
- MSP is provided only for 23 crops. It does not apply to other crops such as Mushrooms and Beekeeping industries. Small tea growers in assam can be encouraged to adopt integrated farming system