Integrated Farming System: 9 Models, Objectives & Advantages

An Integrated Farming System (IFS) is a sustainable and holistic approach to agriculture that involves the integration of various crops, livestock, and other agricultural activities to maximize resource utilization, minimize environmental impact, and increase productivity and profitability.

IFS aims to create a self-sustaining system by promoting nutrient cycling, natural pest control, and diversification of income sources. It is an alternative to traditional monoculture farming that relies heavily on chemical inputs and often leads to soil degradation, biodiversity loss, and economic vulnerability. IFS has been gaining popularity as a viable solution for sustainable agriculture, particularly in smallholder farming communities, where it has the potential to improve food security, increase income, and promote environmental conservation.

Integrated Farming System (IFS) Definition:

An integrated Farming System (IFS) is a combination of many systems, it attempts to increase farmers’ income using natural resources on a sustainable basis which can be obtained by integrating crop husbandry with allied enterprises is called Integrated Farming System (ifs in agriculture).

A sub-system of a high-level land use system like a village or a watershed which includes crop production, raising livestock, fishery, poultry, beekeeping, etc. on a particular farm with an objective of higher profitability without altering ecological and socio-economic balance on the one hand and to meet the national goals on the other hand.

What is Integrated Farming System?

An integrated Farming System (IFS) is also defined as a biologically integrated farming system that integrates natural resources and regulation mechanisms into farming activities to achieve maximum replacement of off-farm inputs, secures sustainable production of high-quality food and other products through ecologically preferred technologies, sustains farm income, eliminates or reduces sources of present environment pollutions generated by agriculture and sustains the multiple functions of agriculture.

Objectives and Characteristics of Integrated farming System:

The main objective is to evolve technically feasible and economically viable farming system models by integrating cropping with allied enterprises for irrigated, rainfed, hilly, and coastal areas within view to generate income and employment from the farm. Some specific objectives of the integrated farming system and characteristics of integrated farming system are given below:

  • Efficient recycling of farm and animal wastes
  • Minimizing the nutrient losses
  •  Maximizing nutrient use efficiency
  • Adoption of efficient cropping systems and crop rotations
  • The complementary combination of farm enterprises.
  • Generally, farmers take more than one enterprise on their farms.
  • The main objective of farming is to get maximum profit with minimum expenditure by combining enterprises.
  • The combination of enterprises on a farm is influenced by the relationship that exists   between the enterprises.
  • To identify the existing farming systems in a specific area and asset their relative viability.
  • To formulate a farming system model involving main and allied enterprises for the different farming systems.
  • To ensure optional utilization and conservation of available resources and effective recycling of farm residue within the system.
  • To maintain a sustainable production system without damaging resources based on the environmental system.
  • To raise the overall profitability of farm households by complementing main allied enterprises with each other, etc.

Advantages of IFS

There are many advantages of integrated farming system in agriculture that are points out given below:

  1. Integration of crop and allied enterprises helps to increase economic yield per unit area per unit of time.
  2. Produce material of new enterprise can be used for other enterprises at least for crops, thus reducing the cost of production and increasing profitability per investment.
  3. IFS provides an opportunity to sustain production through organic supplementation and effective utilization of by-products of linked components.
  4. Energy crises can be served to the same extent by utilizing organic waste to generate biogas which can be used for cooking, lighting, etc.
  5. IFS provides better scope to use available inputs more efficiently. This leads to an increased benefit-cost ratio.
  6. IFS leads to producing milk, eggs, fruits, honey, and edible mushroom and generate bioenergy for farmers’ family and commercial purpose. There is a regular flow of money at frequent intervals throughout the year.
  7. IFS links the varied nature of enterprises to provide nutritious food viz., vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, etc. from the same area. This solves the malnutrition problem of poor people.
  8. Increased input use efficiency.
  9. Employment round the year.
  10. Pollution-free environment, etc.
  11. Enhancing productivity per unit area
  12. Proper waste management
  13. Generation of continuous income around the year
  14. Reducing the use of chemicals
  15. Maximization of the yield of all component enterprises
  16. Soil health management

Disadvantages of IFS

Some disadvantages of integrated farming system are given below:

  • Heavy investment is Require in initial stage.
  • Lack of awareness.
  • Lack of knowledge.
  • High knowledge and skill are required.
  • Involvement of multi-disciplinary activities.

Component of IFS

  1. Dairy Farming
  2. Sheep and Goat farming
  3. Poultry farming
  4. Duck farming
  5. Turkey rearing
  6. Piggery
  7. Rabbit farming
  8. Beekeeping
  9. Pigeon rearing
  10. Aquaculture
  11. Sericulture
  12. Mushroom cultivation

Integrated farming system Model:

There are many model of integrated farming (ifs model) and integrated farming examples that are described as given below:

Model 1 :

Horticulture + Piggery + Fisheries + Plantation

Crops Pig dung acts as excellent pond fertilizer and some fishes feed directly on the pig excreta. Pond water is used for cleaning pigsties and bathing the pig’s Pond water is used for cleaning pigsties and bathing the pig’s Plantation trees as shade for the fishery pond or planted as fodder production between orchard trees to prevent soil erosion.

Model 2:

Horticulture + Duckery + Fishery + Plantation crops + Vermicomposting + Apiary

Vermicompost can be used either for commercial or manure for crop Apiary: Honey production and for pollination Ducks excreta for pond fertilizer while they get their feeds requirements from aquatic weeds etc. Duck houses are constructed on pond dikes; hence no additional land is required.

Model 3 :

Agriculture + Horticulture + Poultry + Fishery Fruits crop + Vegetables and Spices Crop + Field crops + Plantation Crops Fishery + Vermicompost unit + Piggery

Model 4:

Agriculture + Horticulture + Poultry + Fishery + Azolla + Mushroom Mushroom cultivation:

Straw residues for manuring, composting, mushrooms Poultry: Egg/ meat, Manure, feed for pig, income Azolla: Bio-fertilizer, balanced feed for all cattle, natural fertilizer for rice.

Model 5:

Agroforestry: The combination of trees with crops and/or livestock, which provides multiple benefits such as soil conservation, increased biodiversity, and improved water quality. Examples of crops commonly used in agroforestry systems include coffee, cocoa, and fruits.

Model 6:

Aquaculture-agriculture: The combination of fish farming with crop production, which allows for efficient use of nutrients and water. An example is the integration of fish ponds with rice paddies.

Model 7:

Livestock-crop integration: The combination of livestock with crop production, provides benefits such as nutrient cycling and soil improvement. An example is the integration of poultry with vegetable farming.

Model 8:

Horticulture-livestock integration: The combination of horticulture crops (such as vegetables and fruits) with livestock, which provides benefits such as manure for crop production and income diversification. An example is the integration of dairy cows with vegetable farming.

Model 9:

Integrated pest management: A system that relies on natural predators, biological control agents, and cultural practices to manage pests and diseases, instead of relying on chemical pesticides.

Benefits of IFS

  • Increased productivity and profitability due to the efficient use of resources, such as land, water, and nutrients.
  • Reduced environmental impact, such as soil erosion and pollution, due to improved soil health and decreased use of chemical inputs.
  • Diversification of farm income and risk reduction through the integration of various crops, livestock, and fish species.
  • Improved soil fertility and structure through the use of organic matter and nutrient cycling between crops, livestock, and fish.
  • Enhanced biodiversity through the creation of habitats and the promotion of beneficial insects and wildlife.
  • Increased resilience to climate change and other environmental stressors due to the diversity of crops and livestock.
  • Improved food security and nutrition through the production of a variety of crops and livestock that can be consumed or sold locally.

FAQs:

1. What is Integrated Farming System (IFS)?

Integrated Farming System (IFS) is a sustainable and holistic approach to agriculture that involves the integration of various crops, livestock, and other agricultural activities to maximize resource utilization, minimize environmental impact, and increase productivity and profitability.

2. What are the objectives and characteristics of IFS?

The main objectives of IFS include efficient recycling of farm and animal wastes, minimizing nutrient losses, maximizing nutrient use efficiency, adoption of efficient cropping systems and crop rotations, and complementary combination of farm enterprises. The characteristics of IFS include better scope to use available inputs more efficiently, generating continuous income around the year, reducing the use of chemicals, and enhancing productivity per unit area.

3. What are the advantages of IFS?

The advantages of IFS include integration of crop and allied enterprises to increase economic yield, sustaining production through organic supplementation and effective utilization of by-products, better scope to use available inputs more efficiently, producing milk, eggs, fruits, honey, and edible mushroom, generating bioenergy, and solving the malnutrition problem of poor people.

4. What are the components of IFS?

The components of IFS include dairy farming, sheep and goat farming, poultry farming, duck farming, turkey rearing, piggery, rabbit farming, beekeeping, pigeon rearing, aquaculture, sericulture, and mushroom cultivation.

5. What is an integrated farming system model?

An integrated farming system model is a combination of different components of IFS that are integrated to maximize resource utilization, minimize environmental impact, and increase productivity and profitability. Some examples of IFS models include horticulture + piggery + fisheries + plantation, horticulture + duckery + fishery + plantation crops + vermicomposting + apiary, agriculture + horticulture + poultry + fishery fruits crop + vegetables and spices crop + field crops + plantation crops + fishery + vermicompost unit + piggery.

6. How can IFS contribute to sustainable agriculture?

IFS can contribute to sustainable agriculture by promoting nutrient cycling, natural pest control, and diversification of income sources. It can also reduce the use of chemical inputs and soil degradation, biodiversity loss, and economic vulnerability associated with traditional monoculture farming. IFS can improve food security, increase income, and promote environmental conservation, particularly in smallholder farming communities.

Conclusion:

Integrated Farming System (IFS) is a sustainable and holistic approach to agriculture that aims to maximize resource utilization, minimize environmental impact, and increase productivity and profitability. IFS integrates various crops, livestock, and other agricultural activities to create a self-sustaining system by promoting nutrient cycling, natural pest control, and diversification of income sources.

IFS is an alternative to traditional monoculture farming that relies heavily on chemical inputs and often leads to soil degradation, biodiversity loss, and economic vulnerability. It has been gaining popularity as a viable solution for sustainable agriculture, particularly in smallholder farming communities, where it has the potential to improve food security, increase income, and promote environmental conservation.

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3 thoughts on “Integrated Farming System: 9 Models, Objectives & Advantages”

    • Sir, I am having 2.5 Acres of paddy land and .75 Acres of Wet land (Coconut Plantation), please advise. I am interested for integrated farming with low budget

      Reply
      • “Considering your land resources, you could explore integrated farming options such as:

        1. Fish-Paddy Integration: Utilize part of your paddy land for fish farming, which can complement your paddy cultivation.
        2. Agroforestry: Intercropping coconut with other crops like pulses, vegetables, or fruits could be beneficial.
        3. Vermicomposting: Utilize organic waste from both paddy and coconut plantations to produce nutrient-rich compost for your crops.

        These are just a few ideas to start with. Feel free to reach out if you need more detailed information on any of these options! Best of luck with your integrated farming venture.”

        Reply

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