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UPSC Mains 2022

What is Integrated Farming System? How is it helpful to small and marginal farmers in India?

General Studies Paper - 3, Topic: Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare

Jan 03, 2023

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Integrated farming systems (IFS) are agricultural production systems that involve the integration of various components, such as livestock, crops, and fish farming, in a single unit. The goal of IFS is to create a self-sustaining system that optimizes the use of resources and minimizes external inputs. This type of farming can be beneficial for small and marginal farmers in India, who often have limited resources and are vulnerable to market fluctuations and environmental changes.

 

One example of Integrated Farming System in India is the integration of dairy farming with crop production. In this system, the cows provide manure that is used as a natural fertilizer for the crops, and the crops provide feed for the cows. This reduces the need for purchased fertilizers and feed, and the excess milk can be sold for additional income.

 

Another example is the integration of fish farming with rice production. In this system, the rice fields are flooded with water and fish are raised in the flooded fields. The fish waste provides natural fertilizer for the rice plants, and the rice plants provide a habitat and food for the fish. This can lead to increased crop yields and fish production, as well as improved soil fertility and water conservation.

 

Integrated Farming System can also involve the integration of horticulture, poultry, and other livestock, depending on the resources and needs of the farmer. By integrating different components, IFS can help small and marginal farmers in India increase their profitability and resilience, while also reducing their environmental impact.

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