Friday, March 7, 2014

Fresh Fodder Development : Importance, Constraints and Options

At Savera Farms, we have now been raising our Goat herd to close to a year now. Apart from capital intensive expenses like the shed, it soon became clear that most of our resources will be spent on procuring and preparing the daily feed. This experience seems to be universal to most animal husbandry practices, including dairy and meat production. It is estimated that no less than 70 per cent of the cost of milk production in India goes towards fodder and yet fresh feed remains woefully deficient in quality in India.

Adopting balanced feed-rations and breeding animals with higher “feed-conversion efficiency” seems to have become critical in increasing their productive life, reducing the incidence of disease, and lowering the cost of production. In India, livestock is largely fed on agricultural residue and straw-based fodder which were deficient in several nutrients. While green fodder is more nutritious, only 10 per cent of the area under green fodder is sown with certified seeds. As the demand for milk products and meat rise in India, agri operations will have no choice but to increase fodder yield and productivity.

Among high yield techniques there are very few which surpass the efficiency of Hydroponics. While Hydroponics has been a widely discussed topic in online forums, very few operators have adopted this in a significant way. Savera Farms has flirted with the idea but we have not committed serious effort behind this yet. Not withstanding the high capital investment, there is still a lack of competent and widely available expertise in India. This has been a constraint for a while but with initiatives like PetBaro, there is increased awareness in urban locations. We are hoping, over time such knowledge building initiatives will help with increased adoption of Hydroponic practices. There was an interesting commentary online around the constraints of Hydroponics in the Indian landscape.

Listed below are a few pioneers and solution providers in the Hyroponic space in India. We share this with our readers so they can seek inspiration, benefit from current innovations and yet make informed decisions. Do share your experiences, favorable or cautionary, with the community for better decision making.
  •     AgroVision
  •     GrassFodder Hydroponics
  •     Greentech Hydroponics
Disclaimer : We do not endorse or have used the above service providers. Readers should be diligent while determining their Hydroponic strategies.

1 comment:

  1. hi,,

    any update on this machine..

    Me too discussed.. almost no one recommending to buy this one..

    better to make silage their suggestion..