Video credit: Azolla Foundation
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)
This video shows the harvest of Azolla in rice fields where azolla acts as a bio-fertilizer. For many centuries, Asia’s farmers have known about the ability of Azolla to capture atmospheric nitrogen and exploited the benefits of growing Azolla as a companion plant with rice. The floating Azolla fern with the presence of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia which is incorporated into soil and hence utilized by rice plants as a natural and green fertilizer that significantly bolsters rice productivity. Sometimes 3−4 crops of azolla are produced and incorporated in each crop of rice. This technology produces around 40 t (fresh weight) azolla/ha per rice crop.
The use of Azolla as a bio-fertilizer in rice fields has been widely practiced especially in parts of Southeast Asia. In addition to the fertilizing ability of Azolla, the quick multiplication of Azolla and its coverage to water bodies, would out-compete and suppress the unwanted weeds in rice fields.