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Integrated Farming Systems

Sustainable agriculture means an integrated approach to increasing farm yield and managing resources in order to address all three critical aspects of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. ISAP has adopted the Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) approach to stabilise income streams through natural resource management and livelihood diversification.

The IFS approach has multiple objectives of sustainability, food security, farmer security and poverty reduction. It involves use of outputs of one enterprise component as inputs for other related enterprises wherever feasible, for example, cattle dung mixed with crop residues and farm waste can be converted in to nutrient-rich vermi-compost. The salient features of IFS include – innovation in farming for maximising production through optimal use of local resources, effective recycling of farm waste for productive purposes, community-led local systems for water conservation, organic farming, and developing a judicious mix of income-generating activities such as dairy, poultry, fishery, goat-rearing, vermicomposting and others. ISAP builds farmer capacities for adoption of productive, remunerative, eco-friendly and self-sustaining integrated farming systems.

Agricultural nurseries and vermicomposting

Agricultural nurseries are an important aspect of sustainable agriculture, especially where farmers have poor access to quality planting material at reasonable price. With the right kind of training and support, these local nurseries can facilitate better use of soil nutrients, moisture and sunlight, resulting in healthier plant growth and enhanced yield performance. Local supply of saplings for different cash crops on regular basis to the farmers in the area also makes their farming enterprise more remunerative. This is also a platform for extension support in the form of new or better varieties of relevant crops. As these ventures do not need large space or large investment, they are suitable for strengthening livelihoods of small and marginal farmers. The potential is significant as well, given that demand for quality planting material is growing among farmers interested in horticulture, floriculture, social forestry and agro-forestry.

With most small farmers having limited access to irrigation, their economic well being is closely linked to soil fertility. Bacteria, other micro-organisms and dead organic matter in soil are major factors determining fertility of dry land soils. Micro-organisms in the soil feed on available biomass and the resultant decomposed material improves the quality of soil and eventually releases important nutrients for crops in the field. Vermicomposting involves an initiative of introducing earthworms and microorganisms into a pit containing waste biomass and cattle dung. Use of vermicompost has shown positive outcomes of plant health and growth, as well as in improvement of soil quality, prevention of runoff, preservation of groundwater quality, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and conservation of biodiversity.

We promote the establishment of agricultural nurseries and vermicomposting among farmers through sensitisation, training and handholding support. We are collaborating with the government to set up nurseries at 160 locations across the country.

Livestock management

ISAP is engaged in livestock breeding as well as technical training and support services for small and marginal farmers to produce high-yielding animals, through the establishment of artificial insemination centres to improve genetic material of local livestock. We also raise awareness on the importance of mineral feeding, provide advisory through least-cost formula feeding practices, and assist women SHGs to set up dairies and goatries. We have plans to build and support FPOs and value chain linkages for livestock farmers. The results of such interventions include additional income and risk mitigation for farmers, affordable nutrition for their families, more efficient land and other resource utilisation, enhanced soil fertility and water retention capacity.

Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals
  • Farmer Households
  • Agri-Preneurs
  • BPL youth
  • Women
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