Improving income and nutrition with integrated farming systems

Indian agriculture is dominated by a large number of smallholders with scattered, fragmented holdings. Lack of adequate capital for investment has been the major constraint. In view of risk and uncertainty in agriculture, especially regarding high-value commodities, adoption of a farming system approach that integrates crop production with e.g. livestock and agro-forestry has become an important and effective strategy to overcome the difficulties.

The main focus of the study being presented in this article was to analyse the impact of various farming systems on income, with an emphasis on finding out the gap in nutritional security and inequity in general. Results indicated that the integrated farming system (agriculture+ horticulture+ sericulture+ livestock) was found to be one of the best alternative solutions in enhancing rural economy in terms of income levels and nutrition status.

Rajeshwari Mallegowda
Division of Co-operative Studies
Humboldt University of Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Sources for further reading:
Bhalla, G. S. and Chadha, G. K., 1990, ''Green Revolution and the Small Peasant: A Study of Income Distribution in Punjab Agriculture'', in K. S. Krishnaswamy, ed., Poverty and Income Distribution. Oxford University Press, 230-243.

FAO, 2000 Yearbook, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Rome. International Livestock Research Institute, 2006, ''Impact of livestock production on human health and nutrition'', Nairobi, Kenya, 2020 vision, IFPRI publication.

Kanwar, J. S., 1999, ''Need for a future outlook and mandate for dryland agriculture in India'', in: Fifty years of dryland agricultural research in India, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad, pp: 11-19.

Maji, C. C., 1991, ''Farming systems approach to research''.  Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 46 (3): 403-411.

NBSSLUP, 2001, Classification of Dryland Regions in India, National Bureau of Soil Science and Land Use Planning, 2001.

Norman, D. W., 1978, ''Farming systems research to improve the livelihood of small farmers'', in: American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 60: 813-818.

Qadeer, I. and Priyadarshi A., 2005, ?Nutrition Policy ''Shifts and Logical Fallacies'', in: Economic and Political Weekly, 40 (5), 358-364.

Seal et. al 1961, 1962, 1963: ''Report of General Health Survey in CDP Blocks'', in: MP, Bengal, Rajasthan, Assam, U.P, Manipur, Delhi, DGHS, GOI, Delhi

Download this article in magazine layout