The Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems (SIFS) Programme supports farmer groups to transform their farms into more productive and sustainable systems.

In particular, the SIFS programme aims to capacitate farmers to adopt diversified farming systems including multiple livelihood options based on natural resources to get more benefit from their produce.

The SIFS approach moves away from individual crop performance to increased system productivity. Based on agro-ecological zones, combinations of crops, horticulture, afro-forestry, livestock and aquaculture are integrated into an interactive relationship. Use of external inputs is minimized by enhancing the recycling of materials within the farm system. SIFS activities are built around selected, inter-dependent, inter-related and often inter-linking production systems based on crops, animals, and related subsidiary professions.

Nutrition is vital

Nutrition is an integral component of SIFS and farm planning also includes designing homesteads, gardens, pathways and water bodies to ensure year round healthy organic food for the household. The approach also integrates the smallholder farmer with the market by building up capacities of value chain analysis and business development. Credit and market linkages are provided and small farmers organized for enhanced competitiveness. In some areas, farmer groups are federated to establish a Common Facility Center to semi-process and market their produce.

Started in 2011, 10000 small and marginal farmer families in West Bengal and Jharkhand have established integrated farms in 6000 ha area, which have helped them in securing improved diet diversity. 88% of them have shown improved net income. 10 common facility centers have been established to process farm produce.

Currently, the programme is being implemented in Bangladesh’ s Chittagong Hill Tracts with support from BMZ and in partnership with ANANDO and in Jharkhand with support from AMAZON and in collaboration with partners PRAVAH and CWS.

Find out more about the approach and programme : SIFS India

Integrated Farming for a better life

‘Our food tastes so much better now that we don’t use any chemicals’