In drought prone areas agriculture has failed, repeatedly. Drought and the related havoc it causes lead to a severe crisis for rural farming. The obvious example is crop decline but also the absence of fodder for livestock which causes animal losses which are difficult to overcome. As a curative strategy, INDEX has incorporated the cultivation of Azolla
Azolla is a fern that floats on water, and considered a ‘super-plant.’ It has the ability to absorb atmospheric nitrogen, an environmental benefit. This fern also has the ability to produce protein on a large scale and thereby a practical and nutritious fodder that increase milk production and health of the animals.
A research study adopted by NARDEP/Vivekananda Kendra
[http://www.vknardep.org/index.php] indicates that Azolla contains 10-15% of amino acids and bioactive substances showing potentials for optimization. INDEX credits Onaway Trust, based in the UK and the CAPART
[www.onaway.org/www.capart.nic.in/orgn/hyderabad.html] funding for their timely support in this innovative solution. One of the key objectives of the INDEX program is to strengthen the knowledge of cultivation techniques and practical application of Azolla as a weed controller in rice farming and organic feed supplement for farm animals.