Singh said that the IFS can be classified as natural and intentional integrated systems. The intentional integrated systems are one which addresses the multiple objectives of increased production, profit, cost-reduction through recycling, family nutrition, sustainability, ecological security, employment generation, economic efficiency and social equity.
The Agriculture Minister said high-yielding grain varieties heavily dependent on chemical fertilisers were used to reduce India’s dependence on food imports and meet the country’s food requirement. However later, due to the use of low fertilisers, productivity fell leading to decline in the income of farmers. He highlighted the Economic Survey of India 2017-18 tabled in Parliament which indicates that over a period of 10 years, the share of income of farmers from crop production increased by only 1% while it increased by 7% for livestock.
Singh further said that small farms (up to 2 ha) hold the key to ensuring food and nutritional security of India. Therefore, location specific integration of field crops, orchard, floriculture, agro-forestry, livestock such as dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery and other less land requiring activities such as mushroom, apiary, and boundary plantations is being done for improving the livelihood of marginal and small households.
Expressing happiness, the Minister said ICAR has partnered with 25 State Agricultural universities (SAUs), 5 research institutes and 1 Central University through All India Co-ordinated Research Project (AICRP) and developed 45 Integrated Farming System (IFS) models suitable to 23 states and 1 Union Territory for providing better production and income.
He concluded by requesting the committee and the Members of Parliament to urge upon states to promote these location specific IFS models and initiate the National Mission on Integrated Farming Systems by converging the schemes of crops, horticulture, livestock and fisheries in order to give impetus to integrated farming systems among farmers for fast tracking the goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022.