Dairy sector of Kerala

In the modern era of the 21st century, the hydroponic fodder serves the purpose of the dairy farmers who are in way to get quality feed for their cattle. This is very conducive for the farmers residing in the urban areas, who are not having abundant land to cultivate the required quantity of green fodder. Forthwith, the urban dairy farmers of Kerala, linked with the dairy sector of Kerala, are in dismay regarding the accelerating price of cattle feed and the lack of availability of green fodder. In fact, the green fodder and hay are not obtained in sufficient quantities due to the shrinkage of land size.

Not long ago, the Kerala Dairy Development Department (KDDD), in Kannur and Thrissur districts, chiefly associated with the dairy sector of Kerala, has shortly introduced a scheme for producing the hydroponic green fodder, under its Integrated Dairy Development Project. This department has dispersed 24 hydroponic fodder units to selected dairy farmers. It has been ascertained by the Dairy Extension Officer of Thalipparamba Block, V.S.Harsha that the hydroponic fodder is having more nutrition than the conventional green fodder and is also cheaper and safer than the commercially available packaged feeds. This kind of feeding program is having the potential to save 20 to 25 percent of daily feeding and working cost.

The term Hydroponic means the technique of growing plants without soil or solid growing medium, but by using water or nutrient-rich solution only, for a short duration. Every day, the seeds are being sown in a batch of 12 trays. The water and the soluble nutrients are sprayed accordingly at regular intervals. A height of 22cm is attained by the plant within a period of six days and after that they are peeled off from the trays ready to feed the cattle. A study made by the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences, associated with the dairy sector of Kerala, reveals the fact that with the application of this method, the milk production increases from one litre to three litres per cow.

Summary-In a word, it may be concluded that, in the 21st century the hydroponic fodder serves the purpose of the dairy farmers who are in way to get quality feed for their cattle.The Hydroponic means the technique of growing plants without soil or solid growing medium, but by using water or nutrient-rich solution only, for a short duration.TheKDDD, in Kannur and Thrissur districts, chiefly associated with the dairy sector of Kerala, has shortly introduced a scheme for producing the hydroponic green fodder, under its Integrated Dairy Development Project.This kind of feeding program is having the potential to save 20 to 25 percent of daily feeding and working cost.

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