Major Areas :: IFS :: Components of IFS


  1. Crops, livestock, birds and trees are the major components of any IFS.
  2. Crop may have subsystem like monocrop, mixed/intercrop, multi-tier crops of cereals, legumes (pulses), oilseeds, forage etc.
  3. Livestock components may be milch cow, goat, sheep, poultry, bees.
  4. Tree components may include timer, fuel, fodder and fruit trees.

Factors to be considered
The following factors have to be considered while selecting IFS in rainfed areas.
Soil types, rainfall and its distribution and length of growing season are the major factors that decide the selection of suitable annual crops, trees and livestock components. The needs and resource base of the farmers also decides the selection of IFS components in any farm.

1. Suitable grain crops: According to soil type we can select suitable crops.

Black soil: 
Cereals:           Maize
Millets:            Sorghum, bajra
Pulses:             Greengram, blackgram, redgram, chickpea, soybean, horse gram
Oilseeds:         Sunflower, safflower
FIbre:              Cotton
Other crops:    Coriander, chillies,

Red soil
Millets:            Sorghum
Minor Millets: ragi, tenai, samai, pani varagu, varagu
Pulses:             Lab- lab, greengram, red gram, soybean, horse gram, cowpea
Oilseeds:         Groundnut, castor, sesame

2. Suitable forage crops

Black soils
Fodder sorghum, fodder bajra, fodder cowpea, desmanthus, Rhodes grass, Mayil kondai pul, Elusine sp., Thomson grass

Red soils
Fodder cholam, fodder bajra, Neelakolukattai (Blue Buffel Grass), fodder ragi, Sanku pushpam (Conch flower creeper), fodder cowpea, Muyal Masal (Stylo), siratro, marvel grasses, spear grass, vettiver

3. Suitable tree species

Tamarind, Simarouba,Vagai (Ladies tongue), Arappu, Kodai vel, A.tortilis, Maan Kathu vel, A.mellifera, Neem, Hardwickia binata, Ber, Indian Gooseberry, Casuarina, Silk cottonetc. are suitable for red gravelly/sandy red loam soils.
Karu vel, A.tortilis, A.albida, Neem, Vagai,   Holoptelia integrifolia, Manja neythi, Hibiscus tilifolia, Gmelina arborea, Casuarina, Subabuland Adina cordifolia are suitable for black soils.

4. Suitable livestock and birds

Goat, sheep, white cattle, black cattle, pigeon, rabbit, quail and poultry.

Agronomic approaches for increasing overall productivity and sustainability of IFS
The various agronomic approaches for increasing the overall productivity and
sustainability of IFS:

  • Adoption of improved cropping system according to the rainfall and soil moisture availability
  • Selection of suitable grain crop species, tree species that supply pods/leaves for a longer period or throughout the year
  • The surplus fodder leaves, crop residues etc. during the rainy season should be preserved as silage/hay for lean season (summer).