Hello my dear friends today after long time I have time to share something about my pilot project based on supplementary cattle feed i.e. uses of azolla as cattle feed. This project is memorable for me because after long time I am going back to village for small project which benefited to the dairy farmers in many aspects. It is boon for the dairy farmer it reduces the cost on cattle feed expenditure and increases the milk quantity and quality. I selected area for this project is my village Milki which comes under Paliganj block of Patna district of Bihar, India because I want to transfer some technology which cater the need of farmers this really give satisfaction for me. In first phase of my project I gather all information about azolla from available resources and then contact toDr.P.Kamlasanan Pillai who is principal scientist & co-ordinator azolla project. at Vivekananda Kendra,NARDEP. He helped me lot regarding this project. I take mother culture of azolla from Kanyakumari and bring to my village for pilot testing of azolla. The main difficulties faced by me are transportation of this azolla from Kanayakumari to my village Milki. The shelf life of azolla is about 48 hours when u putted them in water. There is no direct train from Kanyakumari to Patna my reservation is also not confirmed. I have two reservations first one from Kanyakumari to Chennai then Patna and second one from Kanyakumari to I have two reservation first one from Kanyakumari to Chennai then Patna and second one from Kanyakumari to Kolkata and then Patna. Both ticket cancel because no confirm at last day of the journey. I again book tatkal ticket from Ernakulum to Patna, but from kanyakumari to Ernakulum I have train in early morning and from Ernakulum to Patna train time is late night. I spent about 18 hours from Kanyakumari to Ernakulum. I have two small bucket having azolla mother culture in one bucket I change water when I got long stoppage and in another bucket there is no any experimentation.
Finally I reached home after three days approx. When I open this bucket the condition of azolla culture is very bad some spoilage is happen about more than 70 % azolla mother culture is damaged. I feel very unhappy but I have the patience and prepared one azolla pond and inoculated the same. after three days some positive growth is happen so I feel little bit good. After 7-10 days this all azolla was looks like almost fungal attack. One good thing is that I also inoculate very few azolla cultures in one cemented tub. In this tub little bit comparatively condition is good so I have some hope for further multiplication. Next day I bring one plastic tub and after putting the soil cow dung and azofert according to dimension of tub and inoculated.
|Pic: inoculation of some live azolla
| Pic: After one week tub full with azolla
Now I m looking for new azolla culture so communicated with block veterinary officer and discuss about azolla then he said please try to Patna veterinary collage for azolla culture so reached there and meet with Dr, Shahu who is associate professor in livestock production management. He said I heard about azolla but due to lack of awareness it is not adopted by farmers. He was also unable to give contact of the person who grows azolla. Then I take the contact number and said if I need more help than in future I will contact with you. One of my senior who is study in Bihar Agriculture University gives contact of Dr.A.K.Jha who is Research scientist at Sabaur Agriculture college who is also doing some Research work on azolla. I contact to sir regarding the azolla mother culture then he said yes I have azolla culture but I am busy in election so you contact after this. I not want to wait for long time for this azolla. So I discuss with so many friends about availability of azolla in Bihar. Mr Arun who is my batch mate said I attained one Udyog mela in Ranchi and see azolla also there then I take address of that organization who working on azolla. I contact to Zila Gavaya Vikas Karyalaya where I talked with Mr. Suresh Kumar Sinha on mobile, he give very positive response and invited me for azolla so finally I decided to go Ranchi for new fresh azolla mother culture. At the same time I go back to home before Ranchi Visit.
|Pic: re inoculation of azolla in silipulin pit
|Pic: Full grown azolla pit after one week
When I reached home then I have good news that is few azolla which is inoculated in tub is completely filled with azolla. Then I feel very happy and I got confidence for our project. Next day I prepared new azolla bed and inoculated available azolla, and this time for reducing the intense Sunlight I make some arrangement for plastic roof. Then I cancel the Ranchi plan. Within ten days new azolla pond is full of azolla. My confidence is doubled and next day I meet with Block Veterinary Officer Dr. Dilip Kumar and discuss about azolla benefits then he said really it is useful for farmer. I also discuss with Subject Matter Specialist (SMS) , Krishi Salahkar(KS) and ATMA president about azolla so many interested in azolla . So I contacted to Block Agriculture officer for promotion of azolla and I try to time for lecture in already existing Krishi pathsala, his response is almost neutral some junior staff said this is not Government project so first you take permission from Government. I think this is time waste for our project. Then I decide do something independently.
Pic: Multiplicatin of more azolla pit
Pic: On farm training to the BAIF team
At the same time I read in newspaper Former President Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam comes to Paliganj for Farmers talk and inauguration of newly proposed soil testing Laboratory on 3rd May. Already 31 April is over and on first May there is Sunday. Although I contacted with Head of Krishak Vitrani Samiti, Paliganj Krishi Shree balmiki Jee. He is very busy but he listens and sees my determination and appreciates me. I want permission for keeping the azolla sample in the way of Former President because on the occasion about two hundred selected progressive farmer attaining the function. But problem is that all pass is already distributed before one month so many permission is required time is also very less finally I got permission for putting of azolla sample outside the Function hall I am not allowed in inside but I am happy because my main aim for creating awareness among farmers. So on the occasion in the early morning I placed two plastic buckets with azolla sample in front of main way and I also stand nearby sample with collage i-card. Good thing is that when Kalam sir moving towards hall the suddenly said Azolla, great work this two word is much for me so many farmers attracted towards azolla sample and ask about azolla I define the all the information regarding the same. Hindustan Reporter also contacted with me takes some information and said please develop some material in Hindi about azolla so that I publish in Newspaper. After this publicity I think when farmers contact to me and want azolla for cultivation then what I do so I make more new azolla pit.
Now I started awareness among dairy farmer but how to start is not clear so first of all I identified two farmers for this azolla I just communicated with them and said we have very important meeting with u all which is beneficial for your cattle as well as your economy. So I show the pictorial presentation about azolla cultivation and its benefits. On the same day one farmer bring plastic and contact with me so gives azolla mother culture to him and also make pond in the presence of me. After that I contacted to NABARD, AGM Mr.I.Chatopadhaya, Mr.R.N.Mishra, DGM of NABARD and Mr Sharad Jha PRO of NABARD and discuss about my work. Then for funding issue they said as individual level funding is not possible without any registered organization and also said this process is about two month long so it is better to meet with NGO like BAIF which is working in Livestock field.
Next day I take appointment with BAIF Programme co-ordinator Dr. K. K. Singh,he is much interested in this project and said We will do it and appreciate me for my work. He said for preparation of Hindi material related to azolla and for comparative study of income with introduction of azolla with feed and without azolla. I prepared both Hindi material and comparative study of azolla mixed feed and without it. He again appreciated and shares some more information about already running project. He said I will contact very near for promotion of azolla in Bihar.
Pic: My work is published in Hindustan Newspaper on June 18,2011
Same time Hindustan reporter also contacted with me and invited in Patna office I am also ready with Hindi material related to azolla. On May 18, 2011 my work is published in Hindustan Newspaper. Before reading to this my friend Ravi call to me and congrats to me and next day three TISS friends along with Prabhat khabar team , MD of Idea cellular, one MSW student Miss Jyoti and some MBA student come to my home and visit and discuss about project and gives some important suggestion for improvement.
Next day I got call from BAIF State head office for lecture on azolla as supplementary cattle feed on May 23, 2011. I am so excited because this is the first time when I give presentation in front of agriculture officer and veterinary officer of 14 district of Bihar. This is memorable event for me. On May 24, 2011 BAIF team about 40 in number visit azolla farm in my village. I give on farm training to all BAIF team and also clear all the doubts regarding azolla cultivation. So many district officers shows immediate positive response for replicate this model in 14 district of Bihar, for first month target to involve 100 farmers and for next six month target decided by Dr. K .K. Singh is about 10,000 farmers. BAIF demanded azolla mother culture for starting this work, initially I arrange about 5-6 kg azolla mother culture and for this I got thousand rupee. Now this project is implemented in 14 district of Bihar. At present I am coming back to Mumbai for complimition of my Master degree in Social entrepreneurship. The great thing is that so many farmers directly calling to me fregarding information about azolla. Few Internationational enquirry from philipins and UK is also happen,this really gives satisfaction to me some how I help to some person.
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· My pilot project work is published in Monthly newsletter “Echoes of Eco” which is published by VK-NARDEP (Vivekananda Kendra-Natural Resource Development Project) , June & July,2011, Edition for reading please log on following link:
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