Promotion of Moringa as a fodder crop

Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is a multipurpose tree cultivated for food, medicinal, industrial and fodder purpose. It is popularly known as drumstick, sahjan, sujna, senjan and munga, horse reddish tree, saragavo, sevaga etc. Moringa when cultivated as a fodder crop has a great potential to provide ‘round the year’ high quality green fodder for 4 to 5 years from a piece of land. Annually moringa can produce more than 100-120 tonne/hectare green fodder in 4 to 5 cuttings sufficient enough for feeding 18 to 20 animals under mixed feeding system. Moringa can also be cultivated by transplanting saplings or by stem cuttings. On an average, 1 kg of Moringa seed gives around 2500 seedlings under field conditions. 

Creating awareness on adoption of good agricultural practices (GAPs) for moringa cultivation could help in enhancing seed yield and fodder production.

Overview of projects pertaining to cultivation of Moringa for fodder purpose:

NDDB encouraged Malabar Milk Union in Kerala and Jharkhand Milk Federation in Jharkhand to take up pilot projects for the cultivation of Moringa as a green fodder on farmers’ fields.

About 40 acres of land in Kerala and 35 acres of land in Jharkhand were allocated respectively for Moringa cultivation. An estimated 4500 Metric Tonnes of Moringa fodder was produced by the farmers in these projects and the same was used for feeding of the dairy animals.

NDDB has conducted a field trials at farmers’ doorstep in Mysuru district of Karnataka to evaluate the performance of ten different Moringa varieties for fodder purpose. Out of ten, PKM-1, Bhagya and Mysuru-Local have been found better for fodder production.

Seed production:

Approximately 10 acres of land each has been allocated at Itola in Gujarat and Hotwar in Jharkhand for the purpose of producing Moringa Seed for distribution to the farmers. About 480 kg of Moringa fodder seed has been produced and supplied to farmers as on date.

Good agricultural practices:

NDDB is conducting Moringa spacing trials to evaluate the ideal spacing for fodder production. Moringa fodder crop sown at 12 x 4 inches distance gave highest green fodder yield and dry matter yield 53.72 t/ha and 12.44 t/ha whereas, spacing at 6 x 6 inches produced green fodder yield and dry matter yield 50.24 t/ha and 10.76 t/ha respectively in 3 cuttings during 9 month of cultivation period from 15th October, 2019.

For more details on moringa fodder cultivation & seed production: