Mixed Farming Project By Farhataas

Idea: Improve livelihood security with Integrated farming.

Livelihood is activities, entitlements & assets by which people make a living. Assets can be classified as follows.

  1. Natural/biological Assets (land, water, common-property resources, flora and fauna)
  2. Social Assets (community, family and social networks)
  3. Political Assets (participation, empowerment)
  4. Human Assets (education, labour, health and nutrition)
  5. Physical Assets (roads, clinics, markets, schools and bridges)
  6. Economic Assets (jobs, saving and credit)

Sustainable Livelihood is activities, entitlements & assets by which people make a living that can also cope with & recover from shocks and stresses (drought, civil war and policy failure)

Strategy adopted during the green revolution seem to be getting outdated under the challenging conditions of this new century. New systems like alternative agriculture, natural farming, organic farming, Integrated Farming, Mixed Farming etc are being proposed at various conventions.

There have been many problems that have been rising due to conventional agriculture. Lack of crop diversification, poor breeds of animals/birds, farm mechanization, mono-cropping, poor seed replacement rate, terminal water stress and poor marketing infrastructure facilities etc to name a few and any new system must work on the following points

  1. Reversing sick soil to healthy soil through low cost approaches in existing penury.
  2. Introduction of exotic breeds of livestock suitable for stall feeding .
  3. Standardisation of methodologies/approaches for generating gainful rural self employment through improved agricultural technological interventions.
  4. Low cost organic farming practices

There have been many problems that have been rising due to conventional agriculture. Lack of crop diversification, poor breeds of animals/birds, farm mechanization, mono-cropping, poor seed replacement rate, terminal water stress and poor marketing infrastructure facilities etc to name a few and any new system must work on the following points

  1. Reversing sick soil to healthy soil through low cost approaches in existing penury.
  2. Introduction of exotic breeds of livestock suitable for stall feeding .
  3. Standardisation of methodologies/approaches for generating gainful rural self employment through improved agricultural technological interventions.
  4. Low cost organic farming practices

At Farhartaass we are trying to setup a new Mixed farming project. This is a type of farming which involves a type of agriculture that involves a combination of

  • Building
    • Farmhouse
    • Pond
    • Solar
    • Greenhouse
    • Biogas
  • Livestock – Raising of cattle, goats, dairy, sheep
  • Growing of Grains (rice, wheat, millet, or maize) field crops, fodder and green manure.
  • Kitchen Garden: Growing of Vegetables
  • Mini Orchard/Fruits-
  • Flower Crops & Aromatic Plants –
  • Medicinal Plants –
  • Fishery –
  • Poultry –
  • Vermi-compost Unit –
  • Apiculture – Beekeeping
  • Mushrooms –
  • Sericulture – Silk Farming

Initially this will be setup for self-consumption and for early supporter later this will be converted into commercial scale by learning from countries like US, Japan. primary function of this project is cultivation of crops along with rearing of animals for meat or milk. We will have Vegetables, cereal crops, and keep cattle, sheep, and poultry on same farm . We will try to make this a self contained as possible by using dung from the cattle as fertiliser for the cereal crops.

Land to be Used

We have 3.5 Acrs of good agricultural land for this project. The land is flat and ready for cultivation.

There are 2 approach we can go with. First model is assuming we can get irrigation the other is for non-irrigation.

IRRIGATED ECO SYSTEM

Segment 1: Bullock pair: 1 Cow : 2 Poultry birds : 60 Kitchen garden Construction of farm pond (Fishery), farm house, Poultry cage, Cattle shed and Vermicompost unit as per the specification

Segment 2: Horticulture crops like Mango & Fig/Guava inter-cropped with vegetables like Bhendi, Ridge gourd and Leafy vegetables

Segment 3: Maize followed by Bengal gram

Segment 4: Bt-cotton

Segment 5: Part 1: Jasmine Part 2: Marigold Part 3: Watermelon

NON-IRRIGATED ECO SYSTEM

Segment 1: Desi cow (Khilari) : 1 Goat : 5 +1 Kitchen garden Construction of farm pond (Fishery), farm house, Cattle shed and Vermicompost unit as per the specification

Segment 2: Amla, Guava Custard apple & Sapota + Bengalgram

Segment 3: Red gram + compatible mixtures ( Bajra, Navane, Sesamum )

Segment 4: Part 1: Sunflower Part 2 : Jowar

Segment 5: Part 1: Cluster bean Rotation basis Part 2 : Dolichus

Getting Involved

Options for For locals

Options for For Indians

Options for For Non-Residents

Farhataas Integrated Farming Strategy

Our main strategy will be to establish more sustainable agriculture. We will develop a system that involves attention to detail and continuous improvement in all areas of a farming and related agricultural business through informed management processes. We will try to combine modern tools & technologies with traditional practices.

We will focus on  environment, soil characteristics, landscape positions, genetics, and ecology of plant and animals.

It involves management practices, goals and lifestyles of humans, social constraints, economic opportunities, marketing strategies and externalities including energy supplies and costs and impacts of farm policies.

Systems also reflect natural resources available and the impact on their use, wildlife issues, target and non-target plant and animal species, micro-organisms, and indeed all of the definable and indefinable factors that ultimately interact to result in an outcome that is never constant.

Our new strategy will focus on few mains goals like

  • Agricultural Income Upgrade
    • Higher Per acre Income – Increase productivity and profitability per acre over conventional agriculture
    • Regular Monthly Income – Agricultural income comes in crop harvest season hence is not regular. Integrated farming fixes this.
  • Balanced food – To get major nutrients from single land like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients.
  • Cut Down Agricultural Inefficiencies
    • Recycling of resources – Like using livestock waste as fertilizers
    • Adopting new technology to improve agricultural efficiency and productivity.
    • Input-output efficiency – closely monitor what goes in and what comes out. How much invested and what returns we get.
  • Modern Crisis Management
    • Unemployment – Combing crop with livestock enterprises would increase the labour requirement significantly
    • Energy Crisis – Effective recycling technique the organic wastes available in the system can be utilised to generate bio-gas
    • Fodder Crisis – Plantation of perennial fodder trees on field borders.
    • Timber Crisis – Plantation of fuel and industrial wood trees on field borders.

Some of the challenges we anticipate will be as follows. We we try to address each of them separately in upcoming articles. We will need help of experts and volunteers and mentors to make this happen. There are 4 parts of the project

1) Research 2) Implementation 3) Manage & Maintain 4) Produce 5) Storage, sale & logistics

  • Soil and climatic conditions of the selected area
    • Establish a document with the complete details on soils profile and climate of this area
    • Then Find out what crops and livestock is best for the current selected location.
  • Availability of the resources & labor
    • Make a list of all related resources needed
    • Make a document for what kind skilled-unskilled workers we will need in the entire operation.
  • Market Conditions
    • Who will be the Buyers?
    • How will the Product reach the end user.

Filed visits will be conducted in India to visit various Integrated farming projects run by various agricultural institutes/ state governments etc. Here is a small list of projects to be visited.