At present producing enough amount of green fodder is very challenging task for developing country like india. At a time Indian council of agricultural research(ICAR), Old Goa is working on a low-cost model of producing green fodder under controlled conditions without soil and less water, so called Hydroponic farming.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Prafulla Kumar Naik, senior scientist, ICAR, Old Goa said, At present the cost of the machine is around Rs 15 lakh. The installation of a low cost device with the basic structure of a green house costing around Rs one lakh, which can be prove beneficial for small and marginal farmers.
In total 11 units of hydroponics technology to grow fodder have been set by Goa dairy, including one at ICAR complex, Old Goa for this entire project. Under controlled conditions, fodder can be produced by the seventh day.
According to scientists ICAR conditions in Goa are most suitable for maize farming. Seed soaking time of only four hours is sufficient for maize seed and soaking of total seeds of a particular day in bulk is beneficial from management point of view. Germination of seeds also affects by quantity of seeds loaded per unit surface area.
Once the seeds are put on the rack in the greenhouse, they are shifted every day throughout the week till the feed is ready within seven days. On an average about five to six kg hydroponics green fodder is produced from each kg of maize seed.