Integrated Farming System

Integrated Farming System (IFS) is an innovative technique that uses a mix of crop and animal components as a resource management strategy to address the multiple problems of low yield, low profit and poor nutritional status of the farmers. Integrated farming, emphasizes on sustainable agricultural production, while preserving the resource base and maintaining environmental quality. By focusing on, resource poor farmers thus creating avenues for farmers and empowerment through agriculture.

Dr. R. M. Kathiresan and the team at Annamalai University, India designed IFS strategies on previously carried out institutional field experiments.

A combination of fish, poultry and rice in the same field was found to be a particularly effective method, which was standardized for size of poultry and fish culture through involved on-farm participatory field experiments. Poultry were keep in specially designed cages with mesh flooring directly over the field and trenches containing fish were dug into the field. The fish, rice and poultry integrated system benefitted farmers through simple but effective practices.
Firstly, droppings from the poultry cages, falling directly into the field, reduced dependence of farmers on external application of manure.<br>
Secondly, the fish in the trenches in the field provided biological control of rice weeds and other pests reducing dependence on agro-chemicals such as pesticides.
Thirdly, poultry waste, dissolved in the trench water, also served as feed for the fish.

This allowed three different agricultural products to be grown in the space that was previously supporting a single agricultural product. The farmers could produce fish and poultry meat that could be consumed by them as well as sold in the market, positively impacting both their financial remuneration as well improving their diet diversity.
Farmers in the experimental group also had a threefold increase in their total earnings.
In a single year, in a single cluster of 15 villages with the IFS design, poultry meat intake per household increased by 200% and fish meat intake per household increased 24 times.

Thank you for sharing, @arshimehboob!

@Dafni_Avgoustaki, @pharaouk, @kcting, you might have insight on this topic. Could this be a breakthrough in farming?

I think grow more food on less land is the pragmatic vision for our global food system reforms. This innovation meets rising food, appropriate nutrition and livelihood enhancement demand to ensure a healthy and prosperous population, while simultaneously minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.