Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Azolla Cultivation: It is a boon for crops and cattle, know from agricultural experts how to cultivate it

Azolla cultivation is a boon for crops and cattle

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The increasing use of chemicals in crops has not only harmed the fields, but has also made human body sick and vulnerable. Along with this, it has also affected the health of domestic and milch animals and birds. Azolla is the natural gift of making agriculture free from all this. Such a boon that is used in the form of animal feed, human feed and organic fertilizer. In a special conversation with Kisan of India, Dr. Vivek Pratap Kumar Singh, an animal science specialist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pipiganj, Gorakhpur, told many important things about the cultivation of Azolla. Along with this, Gajanand Agrawal, a progressive farmer from Jaipur, also told about the techniques of Azolla cultivation. 

Azolla is rich in nutrients 

Dr. Vivek Pratap Kumar Singh says that this is such a green nutritious fast growing aquatic fern, which survives even on moist land. For its good development, 5 to 10 cm high water level is required on the surface of the land. 25 to 30 degree celsius temperature is suitable for its growth. 

Azolla is like dry fruits for animals. It is used as green fodder. The amount of protein found in Azolla is 25 to 30 percent, which is much more than any other feed. Cow, buffalo, goat, chicken, all kinds of cattle can be fed to Azolla. Azolla works to increase the milk of milch animals. In addition, it helps in the development of other animals. 

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50% less cost 

Dr. Vivek told that most of the milch animals do not get green fodder throughout the year. Nutritious fodder and raw fodder are available in the market at Rs.25 per kg. Azolla, which you can call green gold, costs very little in its production. If the farmer produces Azolla, then the cost per kg comes to Rs.2 to Rs.3. On the other hand, less water is required to produce Azolla. Farmers can easily reduce the expenditure on animal husbandry feed by producing Azolla in their barren land or vacant space. 

Dr. Vivek Pratap Kumar Singh says that farmers can produce Azolla with pit method, tank method and third most modern Azolla growing bed technology ie HDPE technology. In urban areas, where people are doing animal husbandry work from small dairies, due to lack of land, HDPE beds can be installed on the roof of the houses.

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Azolla’s Production Technology 

Farmers adopting these techniques usually make beds 12 feet long, 6 feet wide and 1 feet high. Farmers can vary the length and width of pits, tanks and HDPE beds as per their requirement. About 2 kg of fresh Azolla can be produced per day from pits, tanks and beds of this size. Talking about HDPE beds, they are green in colour and they last longer than ponds made of polythene sheets. 

According to Dr. Singh, whatever technique the farmer uses, it is necessary to mix the fertile soil with cow dung and water in one quantity. Put it evenly in the pit, tank or bed. The depth of the water should be 4 to 6 inches. The surface of the bed should also be flat, so that the depth of water remains the same throughout the area. Then pour the filtered solution of cow dung and water and add 1 kg of Azolla culture per square meter. The production of Azolla will start within a week. 

For a sharp increase in yield, you will need some fertilizer so that you can feed it at regular intervals. About 60 kg of Azolla is produced in a month from such pits, tanks and beds.

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Increase in milk production by 15 to 20 percent 

Animal science expert Dr. Singh says that not only cow-buffalo, but there is no addition of Azolla in the form of food for chicken, rabbit and other pet animals. By feeding Azolla to milch animals, not only their physical development can be accelerated, but milk production can also be increased by 15-20 percent. He says that by using Azolla instead of concentrated feed (dana, cake) given to milch animals, the cost of feeding animals can be reduced by 40 to 50 percent. According to him, the ration can be fed by mixing Azolla in the ratio of 1:1 to milch animals. 

Production of Azolla using HDPE technology 

Gajanand Aggarwal, a farmer producing Azolla of Dhanota village of Jaipur district, says that no special training is required for setting up an Azolla unit. They are producing Azolla using HDPE technology. He made 70 beds for its production. According to farmer Gajanand, the cost of a bed 12 feet long, 6 feet wide and 1 foot high costs about Rs 6,000. It is available in the market. The cost of HDPE beds can be easily recovered by earning 3 months of production. 

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Ajola production can become a source of good income 

Gajanand Aggarwal explains that according to the weather, the Azolla unit needs to be covered in winter. The evaporation of water is high in summer, so care should be taken that the water level in Azolla beds should always be 3 to 4 inches. Business can also be started by adopting Azolla cultivation. This can help supply the demand of other farmers. Gajanand is producing Azolla on a commercial scale. They earn from 30 thousand rupees to 50 thousand rupees per month from the cultivation of Azolla.

Also Read: Income increased by 1.5 lakh rupees from integrated farming model, Harsingh Oyami adopted IFS model in 5 acres area

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Increase in Income

Gajanand explains that if you put Azolla in the fields, it reduces the need for fertilizer application by half. Especially for paddy fields, it is very easy, because for this there is no need to grow Azolla separately and put it in the field. There is water in the paddy fields, so you just need to add Azolla culture, and it will help farmers save 50% of the fertilizer cost. 

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