Farm typology for planning targeted farming systems interventions for smallholders in Indo-Gangetic Plains of India
Due to complexity of smallholder farms, many times technologies with great potential fail to achieve the desired impact in leveraging productivity and profitability of the farming community. In the Indo-Gangetic Plains there is an urgent need to understand the diversity of farm households, identifying the main drivers deciding their system thus, classifying them into homogenous groups. In the present study, the diversity of smallholder farms was assessed using crop, livestock and income related characteristics and associated farm mechanization. Using principal component analysis and cluster analysis for 252 farm households, 4 farm types were identified i.e. Type 1. Small Farm households with cereal-based cropping system and subsistence livestock (39%), Type 2. Small Farm households with diversified cropping system dominated by cereal and fodder crops with only cattle herd (9%), Type 3. Marginal Farm household with diversified cropping system dominated by cash crop and herd comprising of only cattle (39%), Type 4. Marginal Farm household with diversified cropping system dominated by cereal crops and herd dominated by small ruminants (12%). Based on the constraints identified for different components of farming systems, low-cost interventions were planned for each farm type. These interventions have resulted in 84.8–103.2 per cent increase in the income of the farm HH under study suggesting usefulness of typology-based intervention planning in increasing income of small farm holders.