NAMSAI, 25 Mar: A training programme on azolla-based feed, supported by the NABARD under the Livelihood Enterprise and Development Programme (LEDP), got underway here on Thursday.
The project is being implemented by farmers-producers organization (FPO) Namsai Organic Spices and Agricultural Products Producer Co Ltd, in collaboration with the ArSRLM and the Namsai KVK.
Addressing the farmers, DVO Dr Keshab Sharma explained about azolla, its benefit and practice of cultivation. He also spoke on the ‘White Revolution’ scheme which is being implemented in Namsai district by the state government.
“Azolla feed can be procured with an assured buyback policy,” said Dr Sharma. He spoke about the “astonishing benefits of azolla having high protein content required for the livestock in the form of feed, which can be easily produced by the farmers in their backyard with low inputs such as cow dung, fertile soil and rainwater.”
Mahadevpur EAC NL Naam lauded the efforts of the FPO and assured it of support, “wherever possible.” Lekang ZPM Bijoy Bella Neog motivated the participants to work together for upgrading the infrastructure through the MGNREGA and other available fund.
NABARD DDM Kamal Roy highlighted the various schemes and projects of the NABARD underway in the state. He said that “enabling SHG members to take up income generating activity for livelihood involves intensive training and handholding on various aspects, including understanding the market, potential mapping and fine-tuning skills and entrepreneurship to manage the enterprise.”
He said that “azolla-based feed is the need of the hour as marginal poultry farmers cannot purchase high price feed, and as a result directly affects their production. The low cost, high quality feed will immensely benefit the farmers in getting protein-based feed for their cattle or poultry and adding value to their income.”
The project will focus on skill development training on cultivation of azolla and its value addition to 150 selected members of SHGs and livestock FPO members.
The overall objective of the LEDP is to provide poultry farmers with self-sustainable quality feed.
A demonstration unit was also inaugurated by the NABARD DDM. It will act as the centre of training for farmers. The mother culture of azolla was procured from the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, for its authenticity and high value in the market.