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Azolla as Livestock Feed

Introduction

  • Smt. Khushi Lepcha is a labourious and progressive farmer. Her village in Lingthem-Lingdem GPU is basically a milk producing area where farmers have been practicing dairy farming as primary income generating profession/occupation. She is a member of Self Help Group.

Training & Motivation

  • In dairy farming green fodder supply often becomes a problem. As such theme was a need of alternate / additional sources of green fodder.
  • ATMA identified the need of the village and offered a demonstration on Azolla cultivation as feed for cattle and other livestock.
  • Accordingly, the plot of Mrs. Khushi Lepcha was identified as demonstration site. A group of villagers were trained on the subject matter.

Adoption of Innovative Technology, Practices and Achievements

  • The demonstration was conducted on a simple pond of 14’x14’x2’ dimension. Azolla pond was provided by Food Security and Agriculture Development Department and the Azolla seed was provided by Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries & Veterinary Services Department.
  • Training and technology demonstration was provided by ATMA, North Sikkim district.
  • Harvesting of Azolla was done in 15-25th day of starting and fed to cows. The villagers noticed marked improvement in milk yield, quality and overall health condition of animals. Azolla proved to be palatable to cows from eating behaviour as compared to other fodder.
  • Another positive aspect is that the rate of biomass production is rapid to ensure a steady and sustainable production at doorstep. From 14’x14’x2’ size pond production was 600 kg which was sold @ Rs.20/kg. It earned Rs.12,000/-. The total cost involved Rs.3,000/- Thus a profit of Rs.9,000/- was earned.

Importance to Farmers

  • The participant farmers involved in the training and demonstration realized the benefit of Azolla cultivation as livestock feed. There has been a horizontal spread of the technique. The farmers are happy to be benefitted with the Azolla farming technique and up gradation of their skill.

Source : Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare



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