[Answered]What do you understand by Integrated Farming System (IFS)? How far is Integrated Farming System (IFS) helpful in sustaining agricultural production?

Demand of the question

Introduction. What is Integrated Farming System (IFS)?

Body. How Integrated Farming System (IFS) is helpful in sustaining agricultural production?

Conclusion. Way forward.

The Integrated Farming System (IFS) is a combined approach aimed at efficient sustainable resource management for increased productivity in the cropping system. The IFS approach has multiple objectives of sustainability, food security, farmer’s security and poverty reduction by involving livestock, vermicomposting, organic farming etc.

Integrated Farming System ensures sustainable agricultural production through:

  1. IFS provides an opportunity to increase economic yield per unit area by virtue of intensification of crop and allied enterprises especially for small and marginal farmers.
  2. It has the capability to make the sector profitable by reducing the use of chemical fertiliser and recycling nutrients.
  3. In IFS, subsystem of one byproduct works as an input for the other subsystem, making it environmentally sustainable. Moreover, IFS components are known to control the weed and regarded as an important element of integrated pest management and thus minimise the use of weed killers as well as pesticides and thereby protect the environment.
  4. Effective recycling of products, by-products and waste material in IFS is the cornerstone behind the sustainability of farming system under resource poor condition in rural areas.
  5. Due to interaction of enterprises with crops, eggs, meat and milk, IFS provides flow of money round the year amongst the farming community.
  6. Indian farmers in many regions such as in north-eastern part, practice subsistence agriculture. They also have a rich traditional base in water harvesting, soil management etc. which could be efficiently utilised under IFS.
  7. Combining crop with livestock enterprises would increase the labour requirement significantly and would help in reducing the problems of underemployment and unemployment to a great extent. IFS provides enough scope to employ family labour round the year.
  8. IFS promote the efficient management of resources. This enhances the productivity of the farming.
  9. The IFS promotes for rejuvenation of systems productivity and to achieve agroecological equilibrium.

IFS provides multiple benefits that are sustainable and can pave the way for climate-smart agriculture. India needs to adopt a “well designed” Integrated Farming System (IFS) to realise the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and having sustainable agricultural practices.

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