Photo: Srujan P, ICRISAT

Scientists from ICRISAT and ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair employ integrated assessment tool to make a case for Integrated Farming System (IFS) for better livelihood and resilience

Photo: Srujan P, ICRISAT

Photo: Srujan P, ICRISAT

A recently published study highlighted Integrated Farming System (IFS) as most profitable and resilient amongst the four major farming systems viz. Black gram-based (BFS), Paddy-based (PFS), Dryland Farming System (DFS) and Integrated Farming Systems (IFS). Whole-farm Integrated Assessment Tool, a rule-based dynamic simulation model, was used to study the performance of these major farming systems in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The integrated assessment tool helps analyse synergies and trade-offs for each farm type and identify basket of appropriate potential interventions designed to improve farming system’s performance per se and to catch up with that of the best performing IFS.

Shalander Kumar, Principal Scientist, Innovation Systems for the Drylands, ICRISAT said “Agricultural policy must not only focus on potential interventions that are profitable but also consider what is acceptable to the farmers, considering synergies and trade-offs between competing resources at the farm level,”

This Integrated Assessment Tool helps to unfold the complexities in smallholder farming systems and understand interactions and potential impact of interventions in a holistic way, considering the cash flows, cost intensity, and input-output trade-offs.

R Jayakumara Varadan, Lead author and Scientist (Agriculture Economics), ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands said “Setting Integrated farming system as a benchmark, we evaluated certain interventions in  various farming systems to improve their performance. Interventions such as multi bloom technology in BFS, improved livestock management in DFS, better irrigation infrastructure in PFS were found to increase the net profit for smallholder farmers. “

ICRISAT continues to collaborate with multiple agricultural research and extension institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In India we are working with ICAR-CRIDA, ICAR-IARI, ICAR-IIFSR and selected Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) to integrate the whole-farm integrated assessment modelling as a decision support tool to co-design interventions for resilient and profitable farming systems.

For further reference: “Technology, infrastructure and enterprise trade-off: Strengthening smallholder farming systems in Tamil Nadu State of India for sustainable income and food security,” was published in Outlook on Agriculture [Feb 2022] 00307270221077380

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