Title : Transformation or Shifting back to basics: An analysis of Integrated Farming Systems in North Western Himalayas, India
The study analyzed the dynamics of existing integrated farming systems (IFS) in North-Western Himalayas of Jammu & Kashmir, India. It is estimated that the efficiency and economics of existing farms can be enhanced through adoption of integrated farming system. The enterprises such as mushroom, fisheries etc. have a great potential to enhance farm income. But lack of training and skill restricted farmers to adopt these as additional enterprise on their farms. The agroforestry component was also lacking which can act as useful resource in a farming system. Farmers were agreed with the assertion that IFS offers better economic returns and environmental sustainability. But due to the constraints, they could not able to follow the approach. The results of the present study suggested that continuous efforts are required to develop confidence among farmers. This can be done through provision of skill trainings which can motivate them to adopt new enterprises in existing farming systems. The study also recommended government support in adoption of new enterprises by farmers. The farmers who were engaged in off-farm activities were also reluctant to adopt new enterprises. The reason was lack of time for farming activities and high cost of hired labour. Keeping in view the low chemical use in cold arid zone, the scheme of zero-budget natural farming techniques (ZBNF) offers good scope for transforming this zone into natural farming cluster.