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Hydroponic Green Fodder – a unique and path-breaking initiative by KVK

A Correspondent
DHUBRI, May 23: In view of land scarcity, vertical space utilization, flood, coupled with sky-rocketing prices of feed for livestock, an innovative approach initiated by Dhubri Krishi Vigyan Kendra, called Hydroponic Green Fodder, is getting very popular among the farmers in the Bilasipara subdivision of Dhubri district. Two progressive farmers, Md. Hashinoor Islam of Chalbandha and Md. Rafizul Islam of Satber have been carrying out experimental production under the supervision of Dr P Sutradhar and Dr R Islam of Dhubri Krishi Vigyan Kendra. “It was found to be very effective for the farmers willing to go for cattle rearing or dairy farming. This innovative approach is farmer friendly and at a time when half of the district remains under flood, this particular technology may also be an alternative for feed supply to livestock,” Dr. Pranjit Sutradhar informed.

A source in Dhubri Krishi Vigyan Kendra informed that in a nutshell, the production of hydroponic green fodder is growing of plants without soil but in water or nutrient-rich solution for a short duration. The hydroponic green fodder looks like a mat of 20-30 cm height consisting of roots, seeds and the plant itself. The hydroponics fodder is more palatable, digestible and nutritious while imparting other health benefits to the animals, the source added. The source further said that the cost of seed contributed about 90 per cent of the total cost of production of hydroponics fodder and it was recommended to supplement about 5-10 kg fresh hydroponic fodder per cow per day. Feeding of hydroponics fodder increases the digestibility of the nutrients of the ration which could contribute towards increase in milk production (8 per cent-13 per cent), he further said.

“Maize is the most suitable seed which is mostly preferred in this condition. However, cereal such as oat, barley and wheat may also be included in the production system. This particular technology requires some refinement which is soon to be done,” Dr CK Deka, senior scientist and head of Dhubri Krishi Vigyan Kendra opined.

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Ankur Kalita