Azolla Production Unit

Azolla is an aquatic floating fern, which is in symbiotic association with Blue Green Algae cyanobacteria (Anabaena azollae) that fixes atmospheric nitrogen into a form that can be used by plants, making Azolla an excellent biofertilizer, besides it gained significant importance animal feed production also.

Preparatory Method:

Prepare the bed with size of 2.5 m x 1.5 m and 20cm depth, to which add about 10 kg of fine sieved soil for every one sq. meter area and spread evenly all over the bed, also add about 5 kg of well decomposed cow dung and 40grm SSP after dilution with 10lit of water and make a slurry and spread evenly over the bed. To this bed pour water to the 10 cm level of the bed. About 1.5 kg of mother culture of azolla seed material is spread uniformly. Azolla can grow faster and can spread the entire bed with in one week to 10 days. On an average 10 kg of azolla can be produced within a week. Once in a week, add 10grms SSP to 500grms dung and add it to bed. Care should be taken to produce the azolla under some shade for healthier growth with sufficient ventilation.

From a week after, azolla is ready for harvest. Harvest 0.5-1 kg azolla as per the need on daily basis. A sieve can be used to harvest the Azolla from the bed. Harvested azolla can be fed to the cattle after washing (1:1 ration i.e., azolla with commercial feed) with clean water to avoid the smell of cow dung. Azolla can also be used as a green manure crop in rice cultivation. When grown in flooded paddy fields, it can suppress weed growth and provide a natural nitrogen source. After Azolla decomposes, the released nitrogen becomes available to the rice plants, improving their growth and yield. As a whole Azolla cultivation offers economic, environmental, and social benefits, making it a promising tool for sustainable agriculture and livestock production.

Advantages of Azolla production

Azolla an excellent biofertilizer. It can fix atmospheric nitrogen at a rate of 50-70 kg per hectare per year, which significantly reduces the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

Azolla can be used as green manure crop in rice cultivation. When grown in flooded paddy fields, it can suppress weed growth & provide a natural nitrogen sources aids in improving their growth &  yield.

Azolla is highly nutritious and serves as an excellent cost-effective feed alternative for livestock, particularly poultry, pigs, and fish. It contains high levels of protein and essential amino acids and also house for many mineral elements and vitamins etc.