The Azolla pilot was conducted on the biological care farm ' de Marsen' , located in Landsmeer the Netherlands. The farm is located on in a peatland area which suffers from subsidence which, on the long term, will reduce the yields from their grasslands. Therefore alternatives are sought, such as paludiculture, i.e. wet agriculture on peat lands. Azolla was identified as a high potential paludiculture crop since it uses nitrogen fixed by its symbionts to produce a protein-rich biomass, which may serve as a local replacement for commercial protein feed.
The aim of the Azolla pilot was to
● Obtain practical on-farm experience with Azolla as a potential paludiculture crop.
● Improve the cultivation of Azolla and share the obtained knowledge with others.
● Research how Azolla can contribute to closing local cycles.
● Explore the application of Azolla as protein-rich feed for chickens and pigs, to replace commercial feed to reduce costs and dependency on external input.
In this project deBaai provided advice and support on setting up, maintaining and analyzing the cultivation of Azolla. The project was finished in 2019. Results are published in Vfocus (see news items).