Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kerala Agricultural University,Regional Agricultural Research Station,Kumarakom PO, Kottayam 686 566,Kerala, INDIA.


Kerala home gardens form one of the most popular and successful integrated farming systems in the world. The balanced inputoutput channelisation in a wellplanned homestead makes it highly productive and viable, benefiting small and marginal farmers. However, the geophysiography and undistributed high rainfall make the soil susceptible to weaknesses in crop production systems, necessitating management of raininduced degradation to enhance agricultural productivity. Judicious use of water and its conservation as well as balanced fertilization of crops are vital in increasing efficiency and productivity of crops. In the wake of serious pollution and biomagnification of toxic chemicals in Kuttanad paddy fields because of excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming seems to be the right approach. Composting techniques can turn garbage into valuable organic manure, while providing selfemployment to the rural people especially women. The discipline of Agronomy plays a lead role in maintaining the nutrient balance and crop productivity at higher levels by providing knowledge on combined use of fertilizers, organic manures and Biofertilizers in conjunction with checking erosion of soil fertility, enhancing native mineral nutrient availability by facilitating soil microbial population, exploiting the benefits of synergistic nutrient interactions in soil, natural resource management etc. mehr lesen