The integrated farming model and organic agriculture packages introduced by Indian Institute of Spices Research is proving to be a successful model among the farming and research communities across the country.
The successful implementation of the organic farming method, combined with organic package preparation and experimental farming has helped IISR become the Best Centre of All India Network Programme on Organic Farming (AI-NPOF) under ICAR for 2020.
The network project on organic farming developed by Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research focuses on promoting organic cultivation of spice crops with the help of research institutes. IISR has been part of the network project on Organic Farming since 2012. An integrated farm has been set up on the Chelavoor Campus of the institute as part of the Integrated Organic Farming System (IFS).
According to the scientists of IISR, the integrated farm inter crops coconut trees with turmeric, tapioca, banana, cow pea and fodder grasses and also manage cattle to ensure the supply of cow dung as organic manure. IISR has set up this farm as a model farm for small and marginal farmers who want to generate a decent income along with ensuring food crops for household use.
Two Holstein Friesians (HF) cows and their calves and a jersey cow are part of the IFS. Besides, the institute rears indigenous cattle breeds Kasaragod dwarf and Vechoor cow also. The cow milk from the cattle unit is sold out to the public at a counter. The Institute could also able to generate an income by selling other food crops.
IISR generated a profit of ₹1.3 lakh from one acre integrated farm, scientists said.
The organic friendly initiatives introduced by a team including CK Thankamani, Principal Investigator, V Srinivasan, S Shanmughavel, R Praveena and S Sarathambal helped the institute to bag the award.
The role of the institute in popularising organic packages among the farm communities also helped the team to bag award. The successful demonstration of organic turmeric cultivation with the help of women Self Help Group under Kavunthara cooperative bank also helped the institute.