Kozhikode: The integrated farming model and organic agriculture packages introduced by ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Chelavoor is proving to be a successful model among the farming and research communities across the country. The successful implementation of the organic farming method, combined with organic package preparation and experimental farming has helped ICAR-IISR become the Best Centre of All India Network Programme on Organic Farming (AI-NPOF) under ICAR for the year 2020.

The network project on Organic Farming developed by ICAR- Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research focuses on promoting organic cultivation of spice crops with the help of research institutes. The institute has been part of the Network Project on Organic Farming since 2012. An integrated farm has been set up on the Chelavoor Campus of the institute as part of the Integrated Organic Farming System (IFS).According to the scientists of ICAR-IISR the integrated farm intercrops coconut trees with turmeric, tapioca, banana, cowpea and fodder grasses. We also manage cattle to ensure the supply of cow dung as organic manure, said the scientists. We have set up this farm as a model farm for small and marginal farmers who want to generate a decent income along with ensuring food crops for household use, the scientists added.

Two Holstein Friesians (HF) cows and their calves and a jersey cow are part of the IFS at ICAR-IISR. Besides, the institute rears indigenous cattle breeds Kasaragod dwarf and Vechoor Cow also.

The cow milk from the cattle unit is sold out to the public at a counter. The Institute is also able to generate an income by selling other food crops.
According to scientists, the institute generated a profit of Rs 1.3 lakh from one-acre integrated farm. Farmer groups and others visiting the ICAR-IISR campus also visit the integrated farm to learn about the farming techniques.

The organic friendly initiatives introduced by a team including Dr C K Thankamani, Principal Investigator Dr V Srinivasan, Dr S Shanmughavel, Dr R Praveena and Dr S Sarathambal helped the institute to bag the award.

The role of the institute in popularising organic packages among the farm communities with the help of 11 AICRPS centres and self-help groups also helped the team to bag award. The successful demonstration of organic turmeric cultivation with the help of women Self Help Group under Kavunthara cooperative bank also helped the institute.