Azola increases milk production by 15 to 20 percent, Study says

Palampur: India has the largest livestock population in the world. To meet the present and future demands of the growing human population certain new strategies are to be adapted to meet the input requirements for production of livestock and their byproducts. Though India stands first in the world in terms of milk production and bovine population, average production still needs to be improved.

Dr. Divya Rana and Dr. Atul Anand of Palampur Agriculture University, in their research, advocated to look for alternate sources of good quality unconventional fodder for efficient livestock production and advocated for using, a wonderful plant called Azolla, which holds the promise of providing a sustainable feed for livestock. Since Azolla contains most of the nutrients which are required for all classes of livestock including poultry and fish, researchers said. Their research claim

“Azolla can be fed to these animals without any adverse effects. Various studies revealed that feeding of Azolla, in dairy cows increases milk production by 15 to 20 per cent. Feeding of Azolla in poultry birds improves the weight of broiler chicken and increases the egg production in layers. Hence the Azolla can be used as unconventional high potential feed resource for non-ruminants. Above all, for the best performance diets of pullet chicks can be formulated with inclusion of Azolla up to 10 per cent.”

Increasing population is putting extra burden on limited sources. And due to large scale adoption of high yielding varieties straw grain ratio has deteriorated as it high yielding varieties produce poor quality straw. Over dependence of farmers on commercial feeds is another area of concern as commercial feeds are mixed with urea and artificial milk booster. They Causes effect on quality of milk produced and longevity of the animal and also affect human being as well, Dr. Divya Rana and Dr. Atul Anand further found in their research.

Azolla can be a wonder feeder for the livestock in Himachal which is full of necessary nutrient, researchers claimed that revealed that many students in Palampur Agriculture University have done extensive research on Azolla and can be grown in the Himachal Pradesh.