Integrated Farming Can Increase Agriculture Productivity::By:Kiran Bhowmik
 

Integrated Farming Can Increase Agriculture Productivity

By: Kiran Bhowmik

[A farmer who depends on rains, conserving every drop of water by increasing moisture retention in the soil is important. Maximizing yield with less water should be his objective. To achieve this one needs to integrate mixture cropping, tree growing and animal breeding. Thus the multi product of one unit will serve as input for another. Labour utilization will be optimum. ]

Agriculture is the riskiest profession in the world, since natural factors like temperature, precipitation, hail and thunder thunder storms, and pest epidemics influence crop yield and thereby the economic fate of the farmer. Indian agriculture has long been described as a gamble in the monsoon. But it is also now becoming a gamble in temperature. The Government’s National Rural employment scheme is also creating a big labour shortage and forcing many farmers to abandon their cultivation. Getting access to financial loans from banks is also proving to be difficult for many who turn to private money lenders.

Indian agriculture is prone to all possible hazards, which Often end-up in disasters. Unique geoclimatic conditions make the country vulnerable to hazards & disasters, which are both natural and human-induced. The common natural hazards in India are droughts, floods, cyclones, land slides, forest fires, avalanches and pest / disease outbreaks in plants & animals, besides earth-quakes and tsunami.

Of these, the most common are droughts and floods. Even within a year, while some regions are affected by drought, others face the flurry of floods. These are partly man-made because of the failure to adopt a long-term strategy for better management of available water resources.

Frequently occurring natural calamities play havoc with the people, especially the vulnerable sections living in rural areas, which constitute about 70 percent of the country’s population.

Not only there was losses of human and animal lives, there are devastating damages to rural infrastructure, which is already inadequate and poor, causing severe setback to the rural economy and retarding the already slow development process and at the same time putting a heavy strain on public exchequer. In India, about 68 percent of land is vulnerable to droughts. Droughts lead to economic losses resulting from low agricultural production, loss of animal resources, reduced nutrition and loss of health of workers.

In India, In the name of industrialization and urbanization, trees have been cut. With the absence of trees, rains fail and this has a direct impact on the planet. While others may feel it, farmers experience it acutely, and monsoon failure results in a disaster for farmers, especially dry land cultivators.

A farmer who depends on rains, conserving every drop of water by increasing moisture in the soil is important. Maximizing yield with less water should be his objective.

To achieve this one needs to integrate mixture cropping, tree growing and animal breeding. Thus the by-product of one unit will serve as input for another. Labour utilization will be optimum.

Even farmers having fertile land and abundant water resources are finding it hard to practice commercial agriculture. How can a small dryland farmer hope to succeed?A dryland is not nature-made. Nature is always flourishingly rich. Drylands are man-made. When one goes on cutting trees, over a period of time the area becomes barren and unproductive due to the absence of surface water and ground water recharge.

In due course, farmers sell these drylands to traders who buy these lands for a throwaway price and sell it as commercial plots for a huge amount.With farm lands shrinking and erratic climate patterns, increasing food grain production and food security does become a vital point to ponder.By proper planning and initial low investments drylands can be made productive. For example cropping patterns have to be closely monitored. Farmers can grow drought resistant native crops which require less water. Also the native varieties are resistant to pests and infestations.In addition farmers can dig small ponds, or pits in the fields. These serve as effective rain catch ers. They can grow fishes such catla, roghu, mirgal and grass carper to get additional food and income when the the pits get filled with rain water.If they have cattle, azolla can be ideally grown in these water bodies. The azolla can be harvested and used as a feed for their cattle and poultry as it has been proved that azolla increases the milk yield in cattle and egg laying in chicken.The only answer to poverty alleviation springs from good income and this can be achieved when farmers adopt multiple cropping systems or integrated farming system and different occupational strategies rather than concentrating on a single area.

About The Author:Kiran Bhowmik is a student of Economics. He is pursuing his Master Degree in Economics in Tripura University. He stays at Udaipur. He writes on economics, current affair and politics. He has many published papers to his credit in prestigious journals. Writing is his hobby. You can contact him over the mobile number 8794219011 or you can mail him tokiran.bhowmik@yahoo.com.  He is the Executive News Editor of the prestigious and popular website of state www.tripuramirror.com.

Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author.

 

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