A multi-enterprise model evaluated for sustaining livelihood on reclaimed saline soils in small and marginal land. It is developed for reclaimed sodic land for crop diversification and to increase resource use efficiency of water, nutrients and energy besides providing regular income, employment and livelihood to farmers owning small farm holdings. For sustaining livelihood on reclaimed saline soils in small and marginal land holdings, a multi-enterprise model is being evaluated on 5 ha area. The model provides net annual income of Rs. 2.65 lakh, out of which half of the net income comes from crop components and remaining half from the subsidiary components. If scaled on daily basis, the model provides a total gross income of Rs. 400-700 and net income of Rs. 250-500 can be generated from about 1.0 hectare land area when fisheries, dairy, horticulture, poultry, duckery and mushroom cultivation are integrated and byproducts of these enterprises are recycled within the system. Cultivation of vegetables on the dykes of the fish pond yielded about Rs. 100-400/week throughout the year. The model revealed that animal dung from the dairy component can be used as feed for fish, to generate biogas and electricity and to make compost to practice organic agriculture. Biogas produced (2 m3 per day) in the Model is adequate enough to full fill energy requirements of Farmer’s family. The synergy-based integration of multiple components is energy efficient, as the model conserves about 11% energy due to net reduction in input energy as compared to conventional rice-wheat system. The model is closely integrated with domestic activities, so the labour requirement is minimum. Recycling of resources in the farm help restore soil health and quality.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1