Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is unquestionably the largest livelihood provider in India. According to Committee on Doubling of Farmers’ Income Report, the average annual earning of a small and marginal farmer household was Rs 79,779 in 2015-16 and indicates that 86% of farmer households earn only 9% of total income and rest of the farmers earn 91% of total income. Integrated farming system practised mostly by small and marginal farmers, is a viable option for increasing farm income. The present study was undertaken to identify the farming systems practised by small and marginal holdings in Kuttanad region of Kerala state, India and also attempts to assess the profitability of these farms and suggest optimal farm plans using linear programming technique. The study revealed that rice + fish and Coconut + Banana+ Dairy cow + Poultry+ Goat were the most profitable farming systems with a benefit cost ratio of 2.63 and 2.86, respectively. The resource allocation in the existing plan was sub-optimal. The optimisation of resource use led to maximization of net returns, indicating the potential for realising greater income. The net returns of rice + fish increased from Rs. 181724 to Rs. 220010 in the optimal plan. The study also suggests the extent to which net returns can be increased with additional units of constraint resources viz., land/labour. The net returns in FS IV can be increased by Rs.286177.9 per additional acreage of land allotted. Thus, the farmers in Kuttanad can increase their income by optimal resource allocation and by deploying additional units of land or labour.
Integrated farming system, Linear programming, Optimisation, Shadow price
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