This is an agricultural farming system that that brings together animals, poultry, vegetables and crop production in order to take advantages of the benefits arising from the integrated processes. The production process includes land preparation, crop management, management of animals and fisheries, processing of farm outputs including value addition, and marketing among other things all aimed at achieving profitable sale of the end products. The key end products for sale or internal use include the following;
- Milk and milk by- products
- Live animals for sale for beef
- Live animals for breeding
- Boiler and off layer birds
- Organic manure
The market conditions for the sale of the above end products must be taken into consideration in order to determine the extent of value addition.
Activities in integrated farming
The integrated farming may include a combination of the following farming activities:
- Crop production
- Vegetable farming
- Forest farming
- Bee keeping
- Fish farming
- Animal husbandry
- Poultry farming
- Pig farming
Integrated farming is line with the policies of the governments of the region aimed at diversifying the agriculture, animals & fisheries production processes with the aim of improving the economic development of the region.
Advantages of integrated farming
The advantages of integrated farming are as follows;
- Cows dung is used as manure and for the production of biogas
- Chicken droppings used as farm manure and for the production of biogas
- Excess vegetables can be fed to poultry , fish, cows, goats and pigs
- Pig waste can be fed to fish
- The houses for the animals and poultry can be used for harvesting rain water
- The flowers from plants are necessary for bees to get nectar
- The bees are agents of pollination and they produce honey and beeswax
- The urine of animals has a concentration of urea nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen which is used in farming.
- Animals like donkey and bulls can be used to carry out farm activities
- Chicken waste from slaughterhouse can be used as to feed the fish
- Fish can be used to make animal feed.
- The farmer is able to earn income throughout the year
- It makes it easy to adopt technology
- It encourages development of agro-based industries
- It creates employment for the community
- It creates a demonstration farm for best practices for others to benchmark themselves.
- It is easier to adopt organic farming
- It can promote tourism
In order to be successful, the farm must employ skilled people in the various sections of the farm. The involvement of the local communities around the farm to provide manual labour is quite good for capacity enhancement of the local communities. The local communities will be in position as time goes on to provide skilled labor after undergoing on job training.