Mixed Farming


a) Jojo - a success story in mixed farming

Sri. Jojo, Randuplackal House, aged 30 years is a resident of the Chakkittapara Panchayat, which covers the north-east hilly tracts of the Calicut District in Kerala. His parents migrated long ago from the southern parts of Kerala to the Malabar region in hope of better living conditions. They had eleven children and owned 10 acres of land. Mr. Jojo is a school drop out and was working very hard in the fields along with his parents to meet both ends of life. In 1998, he happened to attend a training programme on nursery techniques at KVK, Peruvannamuzhi which was the turning point in his life. The training motivated him to start a plant nursery at his farm. Convinced by the success of his nursery project, he diversified his enterprises into successful ventures under the guidance of KVK as detailed below. 

Diversification of cropping system

Realizing the fact that his main income from land is only from coconut, we advised him to diversify the cropping pattern by including new crops such as areca nut, nutmeg, cashew, banana, vanilla, fodder grass and vegetables. The new cropping system provides him an annual net income of about Rs.2.60 lakh. The major crops grown are detailed below.

 Major crops grown 

a.Coconut9 acre130 nuts/palm/year
b.Arecanut700 Nos.15 kg arecanut/palm/year
c.Nutmeg30 Nos.2000 fruits/tree/year
d.Cashew20 Nos.25 kg nuts/tree/year
e.Banana1050 Nos.10 kg/plant
f.Rubber1 acre1 tonne
g.Vanilla600Not started yielding
h.Fodder grass1 acre100 bundles

 Other Enterprises

Since the entire family is supporting him in his farming activities, we suggested him to undertake the following enterprises, which he has adopted promptly. The present unit size and income from each enterprise are shown in Table.


Sl.No.EnterpriseSize/ No./breedsAnnual net income(Rs.)
a.Piggery290 No.3,02,000
b.Vermiculture4 tanks90,500
c.Apiary15 hives11,500
d.PoultryFlying duck, turkey, goose, ornamental birds and layers2,62,650
e.Pisciculture1 pond11,500
f.Sericulture0.50 acre4,000
g.Dairy4 + 121,554

 Mr. Jojo is presently self sufficient in the production of organic manures, required for his entire farm. His dependence on chemical fertilizers has drastically come down. He has integrated all his farm activities in such a way that each unit supports the other units for sustainability. His annual net income from the farm activities is Rs.11.80 lakh. 

Mr. Jojo, a role model for other farmers

Mr. Jojo was an unemployed youth, without sufficient earnings to support his family before training at KVK. The training and the constant support and guidance from the Kendra have changed his life style. Presently he is self employed, confident and highly successful in his enterprises in agriculture. He has arranged the marriages of his sisters decently and presently he owns a jeep and motor cycle for his farm activities. He has purchased a TV set and VCP for entertainments. He is ready to invest a part of his surplus money to take up any new ventures in agriculture. His success stimulated other farmers to rise from the slumber, realizing the untapped potential in their fields through better utilization of resources for a better livelihood. Sri Jojo has become a role model to his fellow farmers. He has won panchayat and district level awards for his achievements. 

b) T.J. Abraham- a model farmer in mixed farming

T.J. Abraham, Thevarkottayil House, Avadukka P.O., Calicut, aged 40 years is an educated young farmer. He was desperate and realizing very low income from his 8 acres of inherited land. His parents were following only conventional farming. After his graduation in Mathematics, he had been trying for a Government job. Meanwhile, he had heard about the programmes of KVK. He visited the KVK in 1995 and decided to attend the training programmes conducted at the Kendra. Following the training programmes, he decided to diversify his farm activities, incorporating potential crops like, banana, improved varieties of black pepper, vanilla, fodders etc. at the advice of KVK staff. He has also started an agricultural nursery under the inspiration of KVK. He has also adopted vermicomposting on a large scale based on the advice of KVK and has become self reliant in vermicompost required for Vanilla and other component crops in his garden. Of late he was granted a project of Rs.6,50,000/- on medicinal plant cultivation by the National Medicinal Plant Board with financial subsidy of Rs.90,000/-. KVK assisted him to prepare the project proposal. Presently he is following mixed farming and is a registered organic farmer. The central point of his farming is based on organic recycling in different ways to match the demand of various crops. The biogas generation using slaughter house waste and complete relying on bio energy is saving total expenditure on cooking gas. He is also having an idea of supporting the neighbours demand for cooking gas by providing an extension of delivery hose to neighbours' houses. Dairy component with a cross bred cow meets the demand for milk for the family nutrition in addition to income. It also supports the requirements of vermicompost unit and biogas generation. The details of the crops and other enterprises is as follows: 

Income from crops 

Sl.No.CropsNo./SizeYield (Nos./kg.)Annual Income (Rs.)
b.Rubber1 acre700 kg35000.00
c.Banana12008400 kg109200.00
d.Pepper10050 kg3250.00
e.Vanilla1200Pre-bearing stage-
f.Cocoa300600 kg12,000.00

 Income from other enterprises 

Sl.No.EnterpriseNo.YieldAnnual Income (Rs.)
a.Dairy2 cows16 lit/day20000.00
b.Vermicompost4 tanks10 t60000.00
c.Sale of worms-50 kg25000.00
d.Agrl. NurseryVarious crops-50000.00
e.Biogas2m3-1 No. 
4m3-1 No.
f.Medicinal plant nursery--50000.00
g.Bee keeping5 hives25kg2500.00

His net income is above Rs.2 lakh per annum.

He is also functioning as a master trainer and gives trainings to various farmers groups.

 c) Integrated farming for sustainability of marginal and socially weaker section

Smt. Narayani, Kunnel house, a resident of Chempanoda village is 43 year old. She is an agricultural labour. She belongs to economically and socially backward community. Her husband is a mahout and her two children are agricultural labourers. She is the President of Souharda SHG with 10 members promoted by the Block Panchayat, Perambra. Seeing her enthusiasm during here visits to KVK in 2001, KVK decided to bring the group to the forefront of society, providing better living conditions to them. KVK took up their case for interdisciplinary intervention. The 10 families of the colony were surveyed and programmes for their overall development were chalked out. The members were given practical training on goatary, backyard poultry, fodder cultivation, nutrition garden, banana cultivation, apiculture, paperbag making and vermicompositng.

As follow up of the training programmes, KVK arranged 5 layer birds of Kalinga Brown and 5 kids of Malabari goat/family. For the nourishment of goat and poultry, azolla culture was introduced along with stems of fodder grass hybrid Napier Co-3. Seeds of vegetables were also supplied for establishment of nutrition garden to improve the health status. Now after 5 years of intervention by the KVK, the economic and social status of each individual of the colony has improved.

The success of the group is attributed to various causes. The selection of components of farming was most suitable to the interest and need of the group matching with the local market. The second factor for the success was the integration of various components such as poultry to get daily income and better nutrition, azolla and fodder grass for meeting the requirement of livestock feed, goatary for higher yearly income, nutrition garden for utilizing waste from goatary and vermicomposting for waste management and income. Their income from goat unit is shown in the following table. Now each family has an additional income of about Rs.10,000/- per year through various components of farming.

Expenditure and income of the Souhridha Goat unit at Chembanoda 

Sl.No.Particulars2002-20032003- 20042004-2005
a.Total expense (Rs.)24920.0027550.0031200.00
b.Income through   
 a) Sale of goats (Rs)85000.0091500.00105000.00
 b) Manure (Rs.)18000.0018000.0020000.00
 c) Natural service (Rs.)500.000.001100.00
Total income103500.00109500.00126100.00
Net income78,580.0081,950.0094,900.00