Livestock Research for Rural Development 17 (8) 2005 Guidelines to authors LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Crop-livestock integrated farming system for augmenting socio-economic status of smallholder tribal farmers of Chhattisgarh in Central India

W Y Ramrao, S P Tiwari and P Singh

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry,
Anjora, Durg (Chhattisgarh) 491001-India


Investigations were carried out in Durg district to find out a sustainable mixed farming model which is economically viable integrating the different components like crops, livestock, poultry and ducks on a 3.5 acre land holding. Different viable modules Viz. (T1) arable, (T2) crop + 2 bullocks + 3 cow, (T3) crop + 2 bullocks + 3 buffaloes, (T4) crop + 2 bullocks + 1 cow + 2 buffaloes, (T5) crop + 2 bullocks + 1 cow + 2 buffaloes + 15 goats and (T6) crop + 2 bullocks + 1 cow + 2 buffaloes + 15 goats + 20 poultry + 20 ducks were developed to find out the best package on the land holding of 3.5 acre suitable for the tribal region.

A model having 2 bullocks + 1 cow + 2 buffaloes + 15 goats + 20 poultry + 20 ducks along with crop cultivation was the best with a net income of Rs 58456 per year against arable farming (crop farming) alone (18300 per year) with a cost return of 1: 2.25 and employment generation of 571 days.

Key words: Arable, cost returns, employment, land holding, mixed farming, module, net income.


Chhattisgarh is a tribal state of India. It is located between 17046' to 2406' N and 80015' to 84051' E. The state has diversified agroclimatic zones viz. plains, plateau and hills. Types of natural vegetation, crops and resources available to the tribals varies to a great extent. Similarly, size and population of livestock inhabited in the different agroclimatic zones also varies largely.

This study was conducted in the Chhattisgarh Plains having average rainfall of 1024mm. The staple food of tribals is mainly rice (Oryza sativa), rice byproducts, corn (Zea mays) grains, wheat (Triticum aestivum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), kodo millet (Paspalun scrobiculatum) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana) which are  produced during the monsoon. Oil cakes (mustard (Brassica campestris), sunflower (Helianthus sp.)) and pulses (Lakhdi (Lathyrus sp.), soyabean (Glycine max.)) are the feed ingredients included in the ration of livestock. Rice straw, pulse straw and locally available green grasses serve as the source of roughage. Farmers do not supplement vitamins and minerals in the diet of livestock. Animals are small-sized and low producers (2 to 3 kg milk/day); bullocks are used for draft purpose and production  of dung as a source of fuel for cooking their meals and manure to fertilize soil. The average family size is 6. Besides crop farming which is mainly for 4 months in a year, tribals survive with livestock-poultry-duck-fish or with their subsidiary occupations (eg: basket making, bee keeping) The farming followed by the tribals is very unscientific and the income generated through such farming is hardly sufficient to meet their livelihood. However, using the existing resources the farming system can be made viable, sustainable and income generating with great opportunities of employment potential. Since this area is dominated by the small holding tribals, different modules have been structured to utilize and recycle the available resources to level out their socio-economic status.

Chhattisgarh state is mainly a mono-cropped state with rice (Oryza sativa) being the main crop cultivated in 3/5th of the total area during Kharif season. More than 80 per cent of the population is dependent upon agriculture for its livelihood. Due to mono-crop cultivation, this portion of the population remaines unemployed during eight months of the year. Because of limited irrigation facility, it makes the farmers vulnerable to drought, which threatens the harvest of paddy.

The concept of  the "humans  - land - livestock" ecosystem is gaining momentum as a means to maximize food production and to elevate economic status of the farmers by multifarious farm activities particularly by incorporating livestock enterprises.For human need, the livestock provide food, fiber, skin, traction, fertilizer and fuel. Livestock also constitute a "living bank" providing flexible financial reserves in times of emergency and serve as "insurance" against crop failure for survival.

Farmers keep cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats and small numbers of poultry in the backyard to meet their domestic needs. Therefore, livestock became an integral part of farming system as such. Other agricultural components like horticulture, plantation, vegetables, sericulture, agro-forestry are also prevalent in the homesteads. These units are operated either alone or in combination depending upon the size of the farm holdings and other available resources.

In this system, animals are raised on agricultural waste. The animal power is used for agricultural operation and the dung is used as manure and fuel. It may be possible to reach the some level of yield with proportionately less input in the integrated farming and the yield would be inherently more sustainable because the waste of one enterprise becomes the input of another leaving almost no waste to pollute the environment or to degrade the resource base. To put this concept into practice efficiently, it is necessary to study linkage and complementarities of different enterprises that will help to develop integrated farming system in which the waste of one enterprise is more efficiently used as input to another within the system.

Materials and methods

The present study was conducted in Chhattisgarh plains of Durg district comprising 12 blocks. Three villages were randomly selected from each block. In this way, 36 villages were randomly selected from each block. Average farm size holding in Durg district is about 3.5 acre. Therefore, the same fragmented area of land (3.5 acre) was chosen for small scale farmers. A family size of 5 members parallel and identical to that of Durg tribals has been considered in this model. To ascertain the best model suitable to a 3.5 acre farm size holding a set of 6 combinations with crops (grains, fodder), livestock (cow, buffalo, bullock, goat, poultry and duck) was considered. The crop farming consisted of grains and fodder cultivation in kharif and rabi seasons under rain -fed conditions.

Study methodology.

Information was collected by personal interview. The details regarding land holdings, size and kind of livestock, family labour, expenditure for crop farming and livestock enterprise and annual income from agriculture and from livestock were gathered from the randomly-selected respondents.

To calculate the net margin, various cost concepts used for the livestock and crop farming were as follows:

The modules formed for marginal farmers having 3.5 acre land holding are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Modules formed for marginal farmers having 3.5 acre land holding


Crop (3.5 Acre)


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Cows


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Buffaloes


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 1 Cow + 2 Buffaloes


Crop+2 Bullocks + 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats


Crop + 2 Bullocks+ 1 Cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats + 20 Poultry + 20 Ducks

The numbers of livestock including poultry and ducks have not been fixed as per the existing practices of farmers, rather they were decided on the basis required to make the mixed farming module viable to achieve the maximum returns. Livestock comprised of cows, buffaloes, bullock, pigs and goats besides poultry and ducks. The livestock and poultry birds included in the present study were local and desi type.

Results and discussion

The results of this study indicated that integration of various enterprises on a 3.5 acre size of land holding was theoretically viable. Further, better utilization of land, water, and input and output resources were observed in the mixed farming model with bullocks, cows, buffaloes and goats as compared to arable farming alone. An attempt was made to prepare a schematic model representing the various combinations of the mixed farming system based on the present study (Figure 1). Mixed farming of 4 bullocks + 2 cows + 2 buffaloes + 15 goats + 30 poultry + 30 ducks gave a net return of Rs 58456 compared to Rs 18300 from arable farming.

T1 (Crop), T2 (Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Cows), T3 (Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Buffaloes), T4 (Crop + 2 Bullocks + 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes), T5 (Crop + 2 Bullocks+ 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats), T6 (Crop + 2 Bullocks+ 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats + 20 Poultry + 20 Ducks).

Figure 1. Income and expenditure in different mixed farming models for Small Holders

Table 2. Income and expenditure due to crop farming (Mean SE)

S. No.



Expenditure, Rs

Gross Income, Rs

Net Income, Rs

Cost : return ratio

Employment days


Rice (Swarna)
(Oryza sativa)








Wheat (Sujata)
(Triticum aestivum)








(Lathyrus sp.)







Table 3. Income and expenditure due to livestock farming (Mean SE)











No.of Animal









Expenditure, Rs









Gross Income, Rs









Net Income, Rs









Cost return: ratio









Employment days








Table 4. Income and expenditure of different mixed farming modules for Small Holder (Mean SE)



Expenditure, Rs

Gross Income, Rs

Net Income, Rs

Cost: return ratio

Employment days


Crop (3.5 Acre)

28925 a194

47225 a147

18300 a217

1.63 a0.011

385 a3.63


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Cows

39755 b187

70800 b132

31044 b216

1.78 b0.008

528 b2.84


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 3 Buffaloes

40559 c197

83833 c133

43273 c212

2.067 c0.010

528 b2.44


Crop + 2 Bullocks + 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes

40291b c193


39197 d212

1.97 d0.009

528 b2.56


Crop+2 Bullocks + 1cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats

43221 d190

94325 e128

51104 e209

2.18 e0.009

554 c2.35


Crop + 2 Bullocks+ 1Cow + 2 Buffaloes + 15 Goats + 20 Poultry + 20 Ducks

46430 e187


58456 f210

2.25 f0.009

571 d2.41

Values with different superscript in the same column differ from each other significantly (P<0.01)

Singh (1994) reported that 1ha canal-irrigated land gave net returns ranging from Rs 14000 to Rs 32700 in different years in mixed farming with 3 crossbred cows; whereas, it was observed to be ranging from negative to Rs 19700 in mixed farming with 3 buffaloes. Comparative figures for arable farming were between Rs 3300 and Rs 12400 (Singh 1994).

Madhava Swamy (1985) observed that the net returns were higher by Rs 620, 5198 and 1598 in diversified farms with poultry and sheep rearing, respectively over the crop enterprise farm in Karnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Singh (1994) compared three types of farming system and found that the mixed farming with 3 crossbred cows gave the highest net return of about Rs 21,000 and also generated highest man-days of employment.

Agriculture is still considered to be the major sector providing employment in India.. However, the small and marginal farmer families and agricultural laborers have to face employment and under-employment due to seasonal work in crop production (Swaminathan 1981) and also due to the natural calamities occurring at one or the other seasons of the year. In this study too, the mixed farming system suggested better means for providing regular employment to these sections of rural mass in tribal area. The study revealed that employment potential of mixed farming system was higher than arable farming. In a mixed farming system of 3.5 acre land, the employment generation was 571 man-days with almost uniform distribution throughout the year compared to 385 man-days in arable farming with most labour employment only during July-August period of agriculture operations.

The conservation of the ecosystem and recycling of energy and mineral matter in soil-plant-animal/human- systems have been followed by Singh (1994). The recycling of precious organic manurial wastes (energy/mineral matter) might have been responsible for conserving the ecosystem and thus increasing the fertility of soil and keeping the environment free from pollution hazards. In view of the pressure of population on land there is no alternative to meet the demand for food and other agricultural raw materials except through an increase in agriculture- animal production per unit land per unit time on the one hand and concern of humanity regarding pollution and environment on the other.

A good amount of feed for animals was also available from the system itself. The farmyard manure available from the animal was used for manuring of crops and 30-35% savings in fertilizer use could be affected in the mixed farming system.

From the study it is concluded that an integrated farming system with 2 bullocks + 1 cow + 2 buffaloes + 15 goats along with other subsidiaries like poultry and ducks is the most beneficial system which can augment the income of tribals to improve their socio-economic status. More emphasis is still required to generate a generalized model suited to various farm size holdings in different agro-climatic conditions.


Madhava Swamy G 1985 Effect of diversified farming on income and employment. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 40(3): 333.

Singh K P 1994 Integrated Farming System - Concept and Scope, Symposium of Resource Management and Crop Productivity. February 16-18 at the CCSHAU, Hissar. Pp.69-85.

Swaminathan M S 1981 Indian agriculture - Challenges for the Eighties, Agriculture Situation of India. 36(6): 349-59

Received 20 December 2004: Accepted 20 June 2005; Published 4 August 2005

Go to top