Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The cost of feed of livestock coupled with climatic changes have pushed farmers to look inwards and promote innovative practices to keep their flock and also create wealth. Farmers have sought out practices like hydroponics,which they have used to make fodder for livestock and also vegetables for man. see and also the benefits are Farmers have also embraced aquaponics and aeroponics to grow vegetables and legumes for man and livestock to create wealth and ensure food security.The race to feed the estimated 9 billion by 2050 and the pressure on land and ecosystem at large has pushed more green initiatives to farmers to cut losses and conserve the environment. The Azolla fern is a miracle fern that has been incorporated into agriculture such as India,China, Vietnam e.t.c. The aquatic plant is easy to cultivate and nurture and requires no extensive preparation/processing before been fed to animals. Azolla can be fed wholly to cattle and pigs without any additional feed as it provides necessary nutrients needed for growth and development. Azolla farming is cheap,easy,nutritious and readily available for farmers. Azolla is an aquatic fern usually referred to as the miracle fern because its rich in organic nutrients and useful as feed and fertilizer. Azolla contain 25-30 % protein, essential amino acids, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and Beta- Carotene, calcium and iron minerals . Azolla contains phosphorus, potassium, ferrous, copper, magnesium, bio-active substances and it is this what makes Azolla a perfect organic fertilizer. Azolla can be used as a cattle feed and research has shown that Azolla helps to increase the milk production. Its also used as a feed to quail, rabbit, fish, duck, pig etc.When fed to hen on a daily basis, Azolla promotes production of good quality of eggs. Azolla has Anabena that helps to absorb nitrogen, and the nitrogen absorbed is converted to protein and amino acid which is later stored in the leaves. Nitrogen is one main factor that helps in a plant’s growth this makes Azolla, a high standard fertilizer that aid in the growth of a plant. Azolla also act as a mosquito repellant , the dried Azolla is also used as a partial substitute to Groundnut meal in feed compounding. When Azolla is produced in excess it can be dried and stored in plastic bags for preservation. The inclusion of Azolla in poultry diet, is the in dried form and added ratio is 5% of normal ration.