Even as Tamil Nadu is struggling with draught due to failure of Monsoon, the livestock population is also affected as there is lack of quality green fodder. The Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University officials have come up an invention that grows fodder in a shorter span which shall be used by small farmers who have few livestock.
Working with Hydroponic technology, fodders like Maize are grown in this instrument without sand. From 1.65 Kg of Maize, one can get 10 kg of fodder.
In this instrument, seven plates have been fitted in order. The seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours. Then they are put in wet sacks made up of jute. These seeds are then spread in the plates of this hydroponic instrument. Water is sprinkled on them every three hours. In eight days the sprouted seeds will grow into fodder of thirty Centimeters length.
Normally this instrument if imported from foreign countries will cost 25- 30 lakh. It is not affordable to small farmers. But the same technology has been adopted here but for the purpose of small farmers who can use it for their cattle in draught times using less water. This will cost 90 thousands to one lakh. This will help in producing 1000 kg of fodder in 480 square feet of place.
Prof Den Singh Gnanaraj, head of University farm research department says,’’ Normally what quantity of fodder takes seventy days can be harvested here in nine days. As this fodder contains seed, root and stem as a wholesome package, animals like to eat it. It is nutritious also. It is also clean without sand and other debris. Importantly it is free of pesticides. Fifty liters of water and three units of electricity is what is required every day. Even the water can be recycled and used’’.
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