“Farming system” therefore designates a set of agricultural activities organized while preserving land productivity, environmental quality and maintaining desirable level of biological diversity and ecological stability. The emphasis is more on a system rather than on gross output.
In other words “farming system” is a resource management strategy to achieve economic and sustain agricultural production to meet diverse requirement of the farm household while preserving the resource base & maintaining high environmental quality. The farming system in its real sense will help the following ways to lift the economy of Indian agriculture and standard of living of the farmers.
Farming system specially refers to a group combination of enterprises in which the products and or the by products of one enterprise serve as the inputs for production of other enterprise.
Farming system takes into account the combination needs of the family the economic factors like relative profitability of the technically feasible enterprises, availability off farm resources, infrastructure and institutions such as irrigation, marketing facilities including storage and transportation and credit besides the agro biological consideration namely interdependence, if any among various technically feasible enterprises and the performance of individual farmers.
Farming is defined as the way in which the farm resources arte allocated to the needs and priorities of the farmers in his local circumstances which include-
1. Agro climatic condition such as the quantity, distribution and reliability of rainfall. Soil type and topography temperature etc and
2. Economic and institutional circumstances like market opportunities, prices, institutional and infrastructure facilities and technology.
Farming system is a decision making unit comprising the farm household, cropping and livestock system that transform land, capital and labour into useful products that can be consumed or sold( fresco and westphal,1988) or
Farming system is a resource management strategy to achieve economic and sustained production to meet diverse requirement to farm household while presenting resources base and maintaining a high level environmental quality (lal and Millar 1990).
They interact adequately with environment without dislocating the ecological and socio- economic balance on the one hand and attempt to meet the national goal on the other.
Farming system consist of several enterprises like cropping system, dairying, piggery, poultry, fishery, bee, keeping etc. these enterprises are interrelated. The end product and wastes of one enterprise are used as inputs in others. The waste of dairying like dung, urine, refuse etc. is used for preparation of FYM, which is an input in cropping systems. The straw obtained from the crops is used as fodder for cattle’s are used for different field operations for growing crops. Thus different enterprises of farming systems are highly interrelated.
Farming system is a complex inter related matrix of soil plants, animals, implements, power labour, capital and other inputs controlled in parts by farming families and influenced to varying degree by political, economic, institutional and socials forces that operate at many levels. Thus farming system is the result of a complex interaction among a number of interdependent components. To achieve it, the individual farmer allocates and qualities of four factors of production. Land, labour, capital and management, which has access to processes like management which has crop, livestock and off farm enterprises in a manner, which within the knowledge he possess will maximize the attainment of goal he is striving for.
Income through arable farming alone is insufficient for bulk of the marginal farmers. The other activities such as dairying, poultry, sericulture, apiculture, fisheries etc. assume critical importance in supplementing their farm income.
Livestock rising along with crop production is the traditional mixture of activities of the farmer all over the country, only the nature and extent various from region to region. It fits well with farm level infrastructure, small land base and abundant labour of small man and ensures full utilization of by products.
Farming system approach addresses itself to each of the the farmer enterprises, inter relationship among enterprises and between the farm and environment. Thus farming system research has the objective of increasing productivity of various enterprises in the farm while enterprises the crop production. But these approaches are not strictly compartment in the sense that any change in cropping system may bring about an inevitable change in the farming system.
Farming system approach introduces a change in farming technique for high production from a farm as whole with the integration of all the enterprises. The farm produce other than the economic products for which the crop is grown can be better utilized for productive purposes in the farming system approach. A judicious mix of cropping system with associated enterprises like dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery, sericulture etc. suited to the given agro-climatic conditions and socio economic status of farmers would bring prosperity to the farmer.