Paddy is the most important crop in the world. Its production is continuously decreasing in India.
Therefore serious efforts are needed to increase its yield.
Due to high prices of chemical fertilizers, farmers in developing countries are not fully able to buy expensive fertilizers and thus are not able to get optimum yield.
Azolla could be the solution to these problems.
Azolla is an aquatic floating fern which is suitable for paddy cultivation in temperate climates.
This fern appears as a green mat on top of the water.
As a green manure, Azolla is grown alone in flooded fields for two to three weeks. The water is then taken out and incorporated into the field before the paddy is transplanted.
Azolla Production Technology -
Build an artificial pond to grow Azolla.
To make a pond, choose a partially shaded area. Azolla requires 30 percent sunlight.
Too much sunlight destroys the plant, the area under the tree is better.
If you decide to grow Azolla on a large scale, make small concrete tanks otherwise shape the pond as you wish.
Phosphorus is required for proper growth of Azolla. Super phosphate can be used with cow dung, 4-5 days old cow dung increases the available nutrients.
Benefits to grow Azolla -
It can be easily produced as green manure in large quantity in both the seasons Kharif and Rabi.
Oxygen released due to photosynthesis helps in the respiration of the root system of crops as well as other soil microbes.
It does not allow soft weeds to grow in the paddy field.
It increases the utilization efficiency of chemical fertilizers. It reduces evaporation rate from irrigated paddy field.