Optimizing Farm Plan in Saline and Normal Areas of West Bengal - A Lexicographic Goal Programming Approach
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Keywords:Garett's ranking technique, Lexicographic goal programming, Livestock-based farming systems, Normal areas, Optimum farm plan, Saline areas
Salinity has deleterious effects on both crops and livestock. An optimum farm plan is essential to adapt to this hazard. The present study made an effort to develop an optimum farm plan for the livestock-based farming systems in saline and normal areas of West Bengal. In the case of both saline and normal areas, farmers put the highest priority on maximizing gross margin, followed by achieving self-financial support and minimizing the income risk of the farm. Optimal solutions under a few farming systems were over-achieved in the second goal (achieving self-financial support). Since it is maximizing type of goal constraint, over-achievement is not a problem. However, the third goal (minimizing income risk of the farm) was also over-achieved in most of the farming systems. The optimal solution does not always satisfy all the goals, but it will provide a solution that satisfies the goal with the highest priority and comes as close as possible to satisfy the least prioritized goal i.e., minimizing the income risk of the farm. The result of the optimum farm plan shows that if a farmer wants to maximize his income, he has to bear some risks. Since the major share of total income is received from livestock, the optimum plan would suggest increasing the number of livestock in the systems and hence the farmers should divert available resources to this enterprise.
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