Azolla Farming in Kenya: How to make more money and yields

Closeup green plant Azolla filiculoides ,Pacific Mosquito Fern ,American Water Fern ,Pacific Azolla ,red water velvet ,fairy moss

Are you looking for cheaper and quality animal feed? Imagine a crop that can double its biomass within 2-3 days, requires minimal input costs, and is in high demand among farmers. This post will educate you on Azolla farming in Kenya.

Azolla is also known as mosquito fern, duckweed fern, fairy moss, or water fern. It is an aquatic fern that is rich in nutrients and can be used as a feed supplement for livestock giving you more yields and profits. It is a branched, free-floating aquatic fern with a rapid growth rate.

 The Azolla plant has 3 varieties or species that you can grow in Kenya. These are,

  • Azolla Nilotica
  • Azolla Imbricata
  • Azolla Pinatta.

The most common variety that is grown in Kenya is Azolla Pinatta.

For centuries, the Azolla plant has been used as a natural fertilizer and livestock feed. It is commonly found in freshwater environments such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.

Facts about Azolla

Comparison of biomass and protein content of Azolla with other fodder crops
Facts about Azolla yields and proteins
  • Azolla is a fast-growing aquatic plant that can double its biomass within 2-3 days under ideal conditions.
  • Azolla contains 25-30% protein, which is higher than most other conventional animal feed sources such as maize, wheat, and soybean.
  • Azolla is rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, making it a complete feed for livestock.

Uses of Azolla

 Azolla farming has gained high popularity among Kenyan farmers due to its many benefits for farmers and the environment. Azolla has a fast growth rate, high nutrient content, and low production cost. In addition, it is rich in nitrogen. Due to these benefits, it has been known to increase crop yields when used as a natural fertilizer. Additionally, Azolla can be used as a cheap, protein-rich feed for livestock such as poultry, goats, and cattle.

Azolla farming is also a sustainable and eco-friendly practice. Azolla fixes nitrogen from the air and converts it into a form that can be easily absorbed by plants. This makes it an excellent organic fertilizer that can improve soil fertility and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, Azolla is a non-toxic and non-invasive plant that does not pose any harm to the environment.

Benefits of Azolla farming

Why should you consider growing Azolla? Below is a summary of the top benefits of Azolla farming that you can get;

  • Low production cost: Azolla farming requires minimal input costs. The only significant cost involved is the initial setup cost of the pond or tank, which is relatively low
  • High yields: Azolla can double its biomass within 2-3 days under ideal conditions. You can harvest the crop every 5-7 days, providing a continuous supply of feed for your livestock.
  • High market demand: The demand for Azolla seeds and plants is increasing in Kenya. It is high among organic farmers who are looking for cheap organic livestock feed and organic fertilizers.
  • Multiple uses: Azolla can also be used as a natural fertilizer, a biofuel, and a source of bioactive compounds for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Mosquito control; Azolla restricts the mosquito breeding process. It prevents the survival of larvae and hinders the laying of eggs on the surface.
  • Weed control; Azolla is a perfect companion plant for organic paddy rice farmers. It works by nitrogen fixation, blocking sunlight, and works as mulch that prevents water loss and hinders weed growth.

Where to grow Azolla in Kenya

Are you wondering if your place is fit for Azolla farming? You can grow Azolla in ponds, ditches, or wetlands. You are good to go if you have a source of stagnant or slow-moving water. The best ecological conditions for growing Azolla are;

  • Access to freshwater
  • Soils with pH of 3.5-10. The Optimum growth is observed at pH 4.3-7.
  • Temperature ranges of between 20-30°c.
  • An area with full or partial shade, with about 25-50% access to sunlight daily.
  • A supply of composted manure.
  • Available space, for the purposes of holding manure.

How to grow Azolla in Kenya

As shown above, Azolla farming gives you an opportunity to improve your farm’s profits and yields. Below we give you six steps on how to start and manage an Azolla farm: these include location selection, pond making, and harvesting.

  1. Choose the right location: Azolla farming requires a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has access to a reliable source of water. The ideal pH range for Azolla growth is between 6.5 and 7.5.
  2. Set up the pond or tank: The pond or tank should be constructed using a UV-resistant material such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The pond should be at least 50 cm deep and have a surface area of at least 10 sq meters. The pond should also have a drainage system to prevent waterlogging.
  3. Prepare the Azolla culture: 500g of Azolla culture is required per square meter of the pond. The Azolla culture can be obtained from a reputable supplier or by collecting it from a natural source. The culture should be kept in a small container with enough water to cover the plants. The container should be placed in a shaded area for 2-3 days to allow the plants to acclimatize to the new environment.
  4. Introduce the Azolla to the pond: Once the culture has acclimatized, it can be introduced to the pond or tank. The culture should be spread evenly across the surface of the water. The initial density should be around 100-200 grams per square meter.

Maintaining Azolla Pond

To be successful, it is good to maintain the right conditions. Azolla requires the right conditions to grow and thrive. The ideal temperature range for Azolla growth is between 20-30 degrees Celsius. The pH should be maintained between 6.5 and 7.5, and the water should be changed every 7-10 days. Remove any litter or aquatic weeds seen in the pond regularly.

Harvest and sell the Azolla

Start harvesting after 2-3 weeks. Plastic sieves can be used for harvesting. Azolla can be harvested every 5-7 days. Harvested Azolla is to be washed thoroughly to remove dirt and the smell of cow dung before feeding them to animals. The harvested Azolla should be dried in the sun for 1-2 days to reduce its moisture content. The dried Azolla can be sold to livestock farmers or used as a natural fertilizer. The price of a kilogram of Azolla goes to Ksh 1000.


Azolla farming in Kenya is an easy way to improve your yields and profits. You can use Azolla as an organic fertilizer and livestock feed. Other benefits include reduced costs, increased crop yields, and improved animal health. By following the guidelines and tips outlined in this article, farmers can successfully start and manage an Azolla farm for maximum profitability and sustainability.

Read Next: Where to Buy High Quality Azolla in Kenya

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  • Can you connect me to someone who can do Azola in my farm?

    18 May - 2023 at 03:45 PM
    TikaFarm Reply
    • Hi Tika Farm, we will give you contacts of some Azolla farmers you can connect with.

      01 June - 2023 at 10:24 AM
      • Contacts for azolla farmer near tharaka nithi please

        28 June - 2023 at 11:59 PM
        Morris Reply
      • I like this Azolla
        And I would like to get the contract of Azolla farmers in Kenya if possible

        03 April - 2024 at 07:41 AM
        Bienvenu Reply
  • Please send me contacts on where to obtain seeds for Azolla.

    15 June - 2023 at 05:45 PM
    Patrick Shompole Reply
  • Where can I get Azolla culture in Bungoma County

    21 June - 2023 at 04:58 PM
    Eric Makokha Reply
  • I have Azolla culture in Ngong please Contact agcenture for referrals.

    09 July - 2023 at 07:44 AM
    Yakub Reply
  • Hi,could you please help me how I can get azola seeds/culture so that I also practice Azolla farming. Am currently in Trans-Nzoia county

    07 August - 2023 at 08:06 AM
  • Where do I get azolla culture in Nairobi

    25 August - 2023 at 06:48 AM
    Lydia Reply
  • Hello,where can I get azolla contact person in kiserian?

    17 September - 2023 at 05:39 PM
    Patrick Mutaki Reply
  • I live in Bungoma County, where can I get help concerning azolla farming?

    19 September - 2023 at 03:26 PM
    Chrysantus Benesia Wanyonyi Reply
    • Consult your Sub County Agriculture officer for guidance. Besides, you can keep researching online for credible information.

      04 October - 2023 at 03:43 PM
      Samuel Reply
  • Very interesting. I really like the whole idea. Please advice on how to get the seeds. I come from Siaya county

    31 October - 2023 at 10:16 AM
    Oywero Francis Reply
    • You are welcome. Azolla farming is surely a game changer in provision of reliable animal feeds.
      For seeds, kindly look for reliable online sellers nearest to you.

      16 November - 2023 at 10:50 AM
    • Very informative indeed. Connect to a farmer who can sell me azolla culture. Kennedy bungu, nyamira county.

      03 April - 2024 at 05:13 AM
      Kennedy Bungu Reply
  • Interested

    22 December - 2023 at 09:46 AM
    Tabitha Gathoni chege Reply
  • Interested and willing to do the farming

    22 December - 2023 at 09:52 AM
    Tabitha Gathoni chege Reply
  • where i can i get azolla cultureseeds in kiambu

    20 March - 2024 at 06:13 PM
    Chrysostom Kimani Reply
  • How can one reach you?

    31 March - 2024 at 03:54 AM
    John Reply
    • You Just did. But can drop us a message on contact or our social sites

      31 March - 2024 at 05:51 PM
      Samuel Reply
  • Interesting

    03 April - 2024 at 09:37 AM
    Patrick Reply