Farming Systems Approach for Managing Soil, Water and Crop in Coastal Areas
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Keywords:Land configurations, Farming systems, Coastal areas
Crop, livestock and fish cannot be separated for small holder agriculture in coastal areas of India as crop + livestock is the pre-dominant farming system existing in the country and livelihoods of 117 million marginal and small farm holdings revolves around this system. Integrated Farming System (IFS) is considered to be powerful tool and holds the key for ensuring income, employment, livelihood and nutritional security in a sustainable mode for small and marginal farmers who constitute 85 % of total operational holdings and has 44 % operational area. Integrated system meets the above goals through multiple uses of natural resources such as land, water, nutrients and energy in a complimentary way thus giving scope for round the year income from various enterprises of the system. The initial results of on farm farming system modules evaluated in various NARP zones through AICRP on Integrated Farming Systems promises 6.8 times increase in net returns over variable cost of interventions in improved farming systems with value of household consumption (produced within the farm) increasing by 51 %. Further, the per day profit of marginal and small households can be increased by 69 % through low cost interventions such as improved varieties, balanced recommended nutrient application, integrated pest management, good quality round the year fodder supply, area and species specific mineral mixture supplementation in feeds, cleaning /grading of farm produces and kitchen gardening in farming systems perspective. Additional employment of 54 man days/ year can also be generated for the household through these interventions. Land manipulation based farming systems are found to be highly beneficial for coastal areas in managing the soil, water and crop effectively.
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