Fodder revolution has potential to make Vidarbha farmers prosperous

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Oct 2017 09:40:51


Staff Reporter,

Quality fodder to livestock means increase in yield of milk, says Anoop Kumar

Low milk production, lack of desired results in supplementing the income of farmers have been the problems haunting the policy-makers as far as rainfed region of Vidarbha is concerned. Identifying this, now the administration is making concerted efforts to give a boost to ‘fodder revolution’ in the region.

Anoop Kumar, Divisional Commissioner and officiating Vice-Chancellor of Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), made a presentation regarding the ‘fodder revolution’ in Vidarbha, on Thursday. During his detailed presentation, he putforth various ideas under implementation in other parts of the State of Maharashtra as well as in various countries of the world. “I am sure that if fodder revolution is made successful by all the departments concerned, it will not only increase milk production but also yield desired results of income supplementing schemes,” he said.

Anoop Kumar spoke on Silage preparation, Azolla bio-feed, Hydroponic fodder, feed block for Total Mixed Ration (TMR), Urea Molasses Mineral Block, By-pass protein etc. As far as Silage preparation is concerned, it is already being done by some farmers in Katol and Mouda tehsils of Nagpur district. Silage is one of the most important methods of storage of green fodder for milch animals. It is preservation of chaffed cereal green fodder in anaerobic condition by way of fermentation, and sugar in green fodder is converted into lactic acid. It is advantageous for growth and lactation for animals, andsaves labour cost incurred by farmers.

Azolla, Anoop Kumar said, is a revolutionary bio-feed alternative. It is a unique plant that can provide livestock feed, bio-fertilizer, and also renewable energy. It is aquatic fresh-water fern, and one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Its rapid growth makes it potentially important sequester of green house CO2 gas. “Azolla has proteins, essential amino acids, Vitamins A and B-12, minerals, growth promoter nutrients. It has immense potential to reduce expenditure on commercial fodder drastically, increase milk production, and is also easy to digest,” he said. According to him, a farmer can harvest 500-600 grammes of Azolla daily. The cost of production, he added, is just 55 paise/kg.

Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants without soil or solid growing medium, in large trays, under controlled conditions. Fodder grown with this technique saves time, water, labour of farmer, requires little land, and does not attract disease or pest. Feed block for TMR is a method of feeding cows. This method combines all forages, grains, protein feeds, minerals, vitamins, and feed additives. TMR compact bricks require less space for storage, saves on transportation cost of fodder, and also has nutritional content that can increase milk yield by 10 per cent to 15 per cent, Anoop Kumar said.

The Divisional Commissioner made the presentation in Abasaheb Khedkar Hall of Zilla Parishad (ZP) here. Dr Kadambari Balkawde, Chief Executive Officer of ZP; Parag Soman, Deputy Commissioner (MGNREGS); Ankush Kedar, Additional Chief Executive Officer; Dr Satish Raju, Project Director of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB); Dr Sudhir Kavitkar, Dr Pravin Bhalerao, Dr Umesh Hirulkar, Dr Aniruddha Pathak, Dr Deepak Kadu, Sunil Nikam, and other officers of Revenue Department, MAFSU, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme-Maharashtra; Agriculture Department, Animal Husbandry Department, Dairy Development Department were present on the occasion. They evinced a keen interest in interaction on the topic and suggested ways in which the ideas could be implemented.