Azolla is a small leaf floating pteridophyte of Azollaceae family; it forms a symbiotic relationship with the Cyno-bacterium Anabaena which fix atmospheric nitrogen and gives the plant access to the essential nutrients. Cyano bacteria obtain energy through photosynthesis and very often Cyano bacteria phylum is alternatively called “blue-green algae”. Azolla keeps symbiotic blue-green algae, Anabeana Azollae, which simultaneously fixes and assimilates the atmospheric nitrogen. Azolla, in turn, provided the necessary carbon source and favourable environment for the growth and development of the algae.
Azolla helps to increase the efficiency of nitrogen fixation (2-3 Kg/ha/day) replacing urea almost within two to three years. Azolla can double its mass within 2-3 days, production can be carried out in many ways like; low-cost brick/concrete tanks (Size: 2mtrs Length x 1mtr Breadth x 20cm Depth), nursery plots, farm ponds, canals or ditches and earthen tanks covered with polythene sheets. Further, it can be manure, water purifier and livestock feed witnessing many benefits like; improves soil health, improves fertilizer use efficiency, fixing atmospheric nitrogen, biomass production, maintain soil moisture. Azolla is considered as one of the good livestock fodder. It has recognized as the cheapest & richest source of protein because of its ability to synthesize from a wider range of unlimited and readily available primary resources & make the necessary minerals to the crops.