Age is not a barrier for Bhaskaran – A success story in Integrated Farming System


               KVK Alappuzha has been popularising IFS as a flagship programme for the last 8 years by developing Integrated Farming System models for different land holding sizes in the district. Mr. C. Bhaskaran, Kaleekkatharayil, Olakettyambalam, Chettikulangara, a 70 years old farmer belonging to Scheduled Caste category whose sole income is through agriculture and allied activities is a good example for achieving success in farming through Integrating farming system. He had 1.5 acres of own land in which 10 cents area is fresh water pond and the remaining area is fully utilized for crop and Animal Husbandry activities. From 2007 onwards, he has been actively participating in various programmes arranged by the KVK. Through adoption of various technologies, he could earn an annual income of Rs. 3.72 lakhs by following the IFS model.
               He started rearing Tilapia and varal fishes in his pond. Realising the demand for ornamental fishes, he started rearing ornamental fishes like gold fish, Gowrami, Red Tilapia etc. Instead of selling the grown up fish, he started selling fish seeds by expanding the water body area. He sold Tilapia, varal and ornamental fish seeds up to 100-200 nos. per day and earn daily income of Rs.200/- day.
               Parallely he expanded his rice cultivation to 2 acres by leasing in 1.0 acre paddy land. He takes 2 crops of paddy followed by sasamum in summer. By this every year he could harvest 100 qtl of paddy and 4 qtl of sesamum. Paddy is sold to Supplyco and sesamum sold as seeds @ Rs.350/kg. From paddy crop he could earn Rs.50000/- per year with an expenditure of less than 20000/- as he use farm yard manure which he gets from local breeds of cattle in his farm only. He could increase his harvest of coconuts from 700 to 1200 annually and earn an income of Rs.18000/- with an expenditure of Rs.6240/-
              He maintains local breeds of cattle Vechur and Kabila in his farm by feeding with byproducts of farm and fodder from his farm thus minimizing the cost. From 2- 3 litres of milk obtaining every day, he could sell 1 litre of milk/day @ Rs.60/litre after meeting his domestic consumption. As he use byproducts of crop, the expenditure is only Rs. 10000/- per year. As he gained knowledge on ethno veterinary medicine from his ancestors, he never use any modern medicines for his livestock and poultry. Along with his dairy unit poultry layers, ducks, ornamental birds are also reared and earn Rs.100/- per day. The details of income from different units before and after adoption of the IFS approach are given in the table below.
Crop/enterprise Coverage Yield Expenditure
(Rs.) Income
Before intervention After intervention Before After Before After Before After
Paddy 1 acres 2 acres 20 qtl 100 qtl 18000 30000 23000 50000
Gingilly – 2 acres – 4 qtl – 10000 – 100000
Coconut 13 Palms 13 Palms 700 1200 nuts 4100 6240 10500 18000
EFY 10 300 2 kg 900 kgs (Avg.3 kg/plant) 250 14500 600 25200
Turmeric 2 cents 10 cents 50 kg 350 kg 750 7900 1250 8750
Ginger 3 beds – 15 kg 1100 2250
Yams – 30 plants – 60 kg (@ 2kg/ plant) 1450 2400
Tapioca 40 plants 120 plants 100 kg 480 kg 900 5200 1500 10800
Snake gourd – 50 plants – 250 kg 4500 8750
Bitter gourd – 50 plants – 175 kg 4500 7500
Veg. cow pea – 100 plants – 5 kg once in 2 days up to 3 months
75 kg 3000 3750
Cucumber – 15 plants – 30 kg 250 450
Brinjal – 60 plants – 30 kg 1000 1300
Amaranthus 1 cents 3 cents 30 kg 80 kg 300 1250 450 2400
livestock, poultry and Fisheries units 17520 79350 29200 1,31,400
Total 41820 1,70,240 66500 3,72,950
Net Annual Return: Before Intervention: Rs. 24,680/
After Intervention: Rs. 2,02,710/- Annual additional return Rs. 1,78,030/-

               So far he has supplied fish seeds of Tilapia and Varal breeds to 60 farmers who were identified and directed by the KVK. Half the quantity of harvested sesamum seeds he sold for seeds purpose and every year he sells the seed to nearly 25-30 farmers thus facilitating spread of the crop in the region. Through his enthusiastic approach, he becomes an inspiration to even young farmers of his village.