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  Section: Medicinal Plants / Cultivation
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Integrated Intensive Farming System (IIFS)

⇒ Eco-Friendly Farming
  ⇒ Evolution of Sustainable Agriculture
⇒ Organic Farming
⇒ Biological Farming
⇒ Nature Farming
⇒ Regenerative Agriculture
⇒ Permaculture
⇒ Alternate Agriculture
⇒ Ecological Agriculture
⇒ Ecological Farming Systems
  ⇒ Objectives of Ecological Farming
  ⇒ Prospects
  ⇒ Integrated Intensive Farming System (IIFS)
  ⇒ Low External Input Supply Agriculture (LEISA)
    ⇒ Low-Input Agriculture
    ⇒ Criteria for LEISA
    ⇒ Ecological Criteria
    ⇒ Economic Criteria
    ⇒ Social Criteria
⇒ Biodynamic Agriculture
  ⇒ Organic Farming vs. Biodynamic Farming
  ⇒ Principles of Biodynamic Farming
  ⇒ Rules for Using Biodynamic Agriculture
⇒ Organic Agriculture System
  ⇒ The Major Aims of Organic Farming
  ⇒ Concept of Organic Farming
  ⇒ Difference Between Organic and Conventional Farming
  ⇒ History of Organic Farming
  ⇒ Needs of Organic Farming
    ⇒ Needs for Organic Inputs
  ⇒ In Partnership With Nature
⇒ Basic Standards and General Principles for Organic Agriculture
  ⇒ Crop and Soil Management
  ⇒ Choice of Crops and Varieties
  ⇒ Crop Rotations
  ⇒ Nutrient Management
  ⇒ Management of Pests, Diseases and Weeds
  ⇒ Wild Products
  ⇒ Pollution Control
  ⇒ Soil and Water Conservation
    ⇒ Landscape
⇒ Principle Requirements and Pre-Conditions
⇒ Conversion From Conventional to Organic Farming
  ⇒ Farms With Plant Production and Livestock
  ⇒ Initiating Organic Farming
    ⇒ Medicinal Plants-The First Crops for Organic Farming
⇒ Important Tips for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
⇒ Multi Tier Agriculture System for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
    ⇒ Benefits of Multi-Tier Agriculture System (MTAS)
    ⇒ Selection of Shade Crops
    ⇒ Irrigation
    ⇒ Disease and Protection
    ⇒ Benefits for Farmers and the World
⇒ Indigenous Agricultural Practices for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
  ⇒ Rationality of Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge/ Practices

Integrated Intensive Farming System (IIFS)
The Integrated Intensive Farming Systems (IIFS) methodology provides the pathway to achieving an evergreen revolution in agriculture. According to Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Madras, the IFS involves agricultural intensification, diversification and value-addition. It helps improve physical and economic access to food, there by fostering sustainable food security at the level of each individual in a house hold. Emphasis on food security at the individual level is important in view of the growing feminization of poverty, according to him.

As the name indicates, IIFS involves intensive use of farm resources. To be ecologically sustainable, such intensification should be based on techniques which are knowledge-intensive rather than capital-intensive, and which replace, to the extent possible, market-purchased chemical inputs with farm-grown biological inputs.

Such a shirt in the nature of inputs used is brought about through integrated farming involving animal husbandry, fishery and agroforestry. Such integrated farming practices which constitute the second element of the IIFS strategy provide scope for organic recycling. The third element of the strategy is value-addition to every part of the plant and animal biomass through the establishment of bio-refineries. On-farm and off-farm employment can then be linked in a symbiotic manner. In the case of farm-women, who are invariably over worked because of their multiple roles in a household, IIFS aims to reduce the number of hours of work and add economic value to each hour of their work, according to Dr. Swaminathan.

With an ever-expanding urban population, the demand for a side range of processed and pre-cooked foods will expand, as urbanization leads to diversification of foods habits. The IIFS with its emphasis on crop-live-stock-fish integration responds to this challenge. Also, the emphasis placed on post-harvest technology in IIFS helps both producers and consumers. To sum up, IIFS involves a pro-nature, pro-employment, pro-women and pro-poor orientation to technology and dissemination. It leads to labour diversification and not displacement. It leads to resource-based, in contrast to the widely prevalent commodity-based, agricultural development planning, according to him.

Dr. Swaminathan has prescribed seven pillars of IFFS for successful implementation of such systems. Soil health care is fundamental to sustainable intensification. In addition, vermiculture constitutes an essential component of IIFS. IFFS farmers should maintain a soul health card to monitor the impact of farming systems on the physical, chemical and microbiological components of the soil.

Water harvesting and management is the next crucial component. Crop and pest management including integrated nutrient supply (INS) and integrated pest management (IPM) systems form important components as well. Energy management and post-harvest component, choice of crops, other components of farming system and information technology are also important. These will help to ensure economic viability, environmental sustainability, social and gender equity in IIFS villages.

It should be emphasized that IIFS will succeed only it is a human-centered rather than a mere technology-drive programmer. It essence is the symbiotic partnership between farming families and their natural resource endowments of land, water forests, flora, fauna and sunlight. Without appropriate public policy support in areas such as, land reform, security of tenure, rural infrastructure. Input and output pricing and marketing small farming will find it difficult to adopt IIFS according to him. The eco-technologies and public policy measures needed to make IIFS a mass movement should receive concurrent attention. The programme will fail if it is based solely on a technological quick-fix approach.

On the other hand, it can trigger an evergreen revolution, if mutually reinforcing packages of technology, training, techo-infrastructure and trade are introduced, according to Dr. Swaminathan.

Ecological agriculture that effectively combines use efficiency of Input and economic yield maximization will begin to prevent the abuse of natural resources. On its progress depends the achievement of food security and sustainability of farming systems. Ecological agriculture will reactivate the fatigued green revolution to move forward through promotion of soil health, package of agronomic practices with each component a blend of tradition and modernity, and a policy to value each input based on its intrinsic worth free from subsidies.

There is the need to recapture local knowledge about framing systems. A synthesis of traditional wisdom and ecological prudence of topical agriculture with modern advances in technology will help higher use efficiency of inputs and sustainable crop yield maximization.

This symbolic of low input sustainable agriculture of (LISA) and sustainable agricultural research and education programme (SAREP) widely promoted in the U. S.

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