This paper presents nine models of homestead vegetable/fruit production for the resource poor farmers of different agro-ecological regions developed by the On-Farm Research Division (OFRD) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) under its Integrated Farming Systems Program.
To the best of our information and understanding ‘Producer Company (PC)’ or the Institutional Producer Company (IPC), a federation of PCs, as dreamt by us is nonexistent as of Jan 2007. It is a company like any other company in the corporate world but with a difference, and how we visualize it to be formed and functioning. This concept has been talked about for over a decade and at different fora and some components of it have been implemented at several locations in different countries but not in its wholesomeness as discussed below.
Biological approaches such as crop residues and biomass as surface mulch; growing Gliricidia sepium on field bunds as source of nitrogen for crops; compost, vermicompost and microbial biofertilizers as soil-building elements; and sources of crop nutrients, and microbial and herbal biopesticides to protect crops have been widely reported as valuable for crop production. Scope of these approaches to meet crop nutrients and crop-protection needs in place of chemical fertilizers and pesticides was examined. Published literature and websites were scanned to look for logically sound comparisons, particularly at on-farm scale. Because farmers using organic farming practices were the major users of some (not all) of the biological approaches, we ended up comparing organic and conventional farms. Experiments with treatments of biological versus conventional inputs (e.g. chemical fertilizers) within a given experiment were the other source of relevant data for comparative performance. Discussion in this paper is restricted to marginal and small farmers in rain fed areas. From the limited evidence, it was apparent that yields comparable to conventional agriculture were harvested by using biological approaches. In addition, a substantial improvement in soil quality due to the biological approach was reported suggesting that these yields would also be sustainable.