Azolla is a lovely plant that grows quickly on the water’s surface and is a branching free-floating aquatic fern. Many farmers struggle to provide enough nourishment for such animals owing to a lack of resources. However, Azolla is the best alternative available to
For cattle, fish, pigs, and poultry, Azolla is an excellent sustainable feed. Aside from that, it’s also employed as a farm biofertilizer. As a result, many farmers are drawn to the production of Azolla.
Azolla cultivation is common in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, among other places. Azolla is a nitrogen-fixing plant with a high nutrition value and a high nitrogen content. Cultivation of Azolla requires less capital, making it a low-cost option for a decent feed and
Azolla fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere and stores it in its leaves. As a result, it is used as a green manure. Rice farmers have noticed and appreciated the fact that cultivating Azolla in paddy fields increases rice output by 20%.
Because the Azolla plant can build a thick covering on water surfaces, it is used in paddy farms to suppress weeds. In rice fields, Azolla creates a thick layer that covers all farm areas and acts as biological mulch, preventing weed growth. It also decreases the pace
of water evaporation and keeps the soil wet for a long period.
PROCEDURE OF AZOLLA CULTIVATION-
• Make an artificial pond for the Azolla to grow in.
• Choose a somewhat shaded spot for the Azolla cultivation pond because Azolla requires 30 percent sunshine; too much sunshine would kill the plant. It is advisable to be in the area under the tree.
• You may create tiny concrete tanks if you want to cultivate an Azolla on a huge scale. Otherwise, the pond may be any size you wish.
• Dig out the pond dirt and level it; next, to avoid water loss, place the plastic sheet over the ground. Ensure that the pond is at least 20 centimetres deep.
• In the pond, evenly distribute soil on the plastic sheet. Add 10-15 kilogrammes of soil to a 2M X 2M pond.
• Because Azolla requires phosphorus to thrive, you can use Super Phosphate in combination with cow dung slurry. Cow dung improves the amount of nutrients accessible. Use cow dung that is at least 4-5 days old.
• Fill the pond with water to a depth of about 10 cm, which will allow the AzollaPlant to float freely. After that, leave the pond for 2 to 3 days to enable the components to settle.
• After 2-3 days, gently rub Azolla with your hands and place it in the pond. It aids in the breaking down of Azolla into smaller parts, allowing for quicker multiplication.
• After two weeks, begin harvesting by forming a 2M X 2M pond and harvesting 1kg Azolla every day.
Azolla is an excellent cattle feed. If you take proper care of your Azoll pond, you may collect excellent grade weed every day, lowering your feed and fertiliser costs significantly.
❖ Farmers can reduce nitrogen requirement in paddy field upto 25-30% by utilizing azolla as biofertilizer. Anath agri services is providing knowhow about azolla cultivation and also selling readymade biofertilizers.