My dear friends: What is the main objective of you doing agriculture? Most of you will say earning earning money. Agriculture is just not a service. It is a vocation. Nothing is free here. Everything comes with a price.
Successful agriculture involves deploying a tested method to reduce input costs while increasing yield. This is most important for small and marginal farmers.
Reduction of chemicals and pesticides can benefit over the long run because a major portion of the farmers’ money is spent on buying these chemicals. The focus must therefore be on educating farmers on the value of waste matter being generated in both their fields and homes, and the availability of technologies to convert waste into wealth.
Farming will become sustainable, even profitable, if farmers realise and adopt this. Integrated farming system is an important area of specialty agriculture done by integrating various agricultural enterprises, such as cropping, animal husbandry, fishery, forestry etc. It can help in achieving sustainable farm development and has great potential in agricultural economy.
These enterprises not only supplement the income of farmers but also help increase family labour employment.
Take the case of the KVK in Coimbatore. Dr. Kumaravadivelu who heads the institute has set up a live demo model in his KVK and has been encouraging farmers to adopt the same. The model unit established during the year 2013, in various farms, consists of a calf-rearing unit, goat rearing unit, farm pond, grazing and cropping areas. It is a live model for small and marginal farmers. The KVK in association with DRDA has selected small and marginal farmers to establish similar models in the district. Farmers with a land holding of 1.85 to 5.0 acres were shortlisted and the project was executed.
Technical and management training was given to all above farmers regarding establishment and management of IFS. Farmers were taught to improve their farming pattern by integrating above viable enterprises.
Five farmers are presently designated as farmer trainers who can further trained other farmers of the district on handling the Integrated Farming System.
M Krishnamurthy from Pannimadai village of Perianaickenpalaym block was cultivating only banana and arecanut. After the intervention, he has changed the cropping pattern and increased cropping intensity by cultivating coconut, hendi and mixed fodder bank besides introducing goatery, dairy, rabbitary, poultry and fisheries.
The establishment of a mini-farm pond in his farm has helped to support the breeding of fish. The water is nourished by the droppings of poultry birds. The enriched water has been a good fertigation source for his crops. Soil and water conservation activities undertaken in his farm have helped the utilization of all water resources including rain water and soil fertility management.
For more details contact Dr. Kumaravadivelu, Prof and Head, Sri Avinashilingam Education Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org, ICAR – KVK, Vivekanandapuram, Karamadai Block, Coimbatore, Phone : 4254 284223, email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, ww.avinashilingamkvk.org, Whatsapp : +91 8248048285.
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