Greetings from FSL-India’s Centre for Experiential Living, Kundapur! As part of our training goal of empowering and educating all our staff and volunteers, we had a new training this month, conducted by Mr. C. Doreswamy, our Joint Director.
As agriculture plays an important role in rural areas (like the area where CEL is located), finding new ways of enabling the local community to make food production more sustainable can have a huge, beneficial impact on the local environment, as well as the social conditions by helping farmers to become less dependent on artificial resources.
A good example for this is the cultivation of Azolla: The semiaquatic Azolla (semiaquatic because it grows on the surface of water) is one of the most efficient nitrogen fixators.
Due to the resulting high level of protein contained in the plant, it is a good replacement of food supplements and growth hormones given to livestock. For example, 800 grams of Azolla (the average amount of Azolla required per day, per cow) can replace up to half of the oilcake used to feed a cow and still make the milk more nutritious, since Azolla increases the quality and quantity of milk produced, as well as its fat content.
Another advantage of Azolla is the low cost, time and resources invested for its growth. Furthermore, for the above-mentioned 800g, it takes only about 24 square feet to be grown! It also grows very fast – in 2 weeks, you can have the full tank covered without doing anything at all!
Thanks to the training on how to grow Azolla and the growing conditions required, the participants can now encourage the local livestock owners to cultivate their own Azolla and thereby, enlarge the impact of the Training.
Looking forward to more trainings like this!