Alligator weed : A potential indigenous fodder resource of Manipur
- A case study -

R Joseph Koireng / N Rakesh Singh / Ch Kennedy Singh *

Shrinkage of cultivable land due to urbanization and shortage of water limit the possibility ofproducing more feed and fodder to livestock from land. Water channels, ponds, wasteland remains untapped and the Alligator weed resources have got immense potential to fill the gap in Manipur. Alligator weed locally known as Kabo Napi has been used as a source of food, feed, fodder since time immemorial.

In Manipur Alligator weed (Altemanthera philoxeroides) is considered as one of the best options for dairy feed. Semi dried Alligator weed is found more beneficial than fresh and dried feed. Milk production has been found to increase by using Alligator weed as part of the diet. This may be Its to the presence of a high percentage of protein.


A. philox.oides is a perennial herb which grows as an emerged, aquatic plant, rooted in the soil or in the substrate below shallow water. It also grows in terrestrial habitats. Roots are short and filamentous in water, rising mainly from the nodes. This plant has an amazing ability to grow vigorously in terrestrial situations forming a massive underg.round rhizomatous root system.

Under these conditions, alligator weed can survive without any water for several months (Gun.sekera and Adair, 2000). Low temperatures stop the plant establishing and prevent it from reaching high levels. Growth rate increases exponentially with ambient temperatures in the range 14- 29oC, growth ceasing below 13oC. Frost is a major cause of leaf mortality in these regions. The growth of Alligator weed is affected by low air humidity, ranging from 15-40 percent relative humidity.


Alligator weed is a perennial, stoloniferous plant. Its morphology varies depending on whether it is growing on the edge of a water body (with its long stems floating out over the water surface) or growing in a low-lying, poorly drained site away from the water's edge. Hence, the literature often refers to two so-called 'forms' an aquatic form and a terrestrial form.

'While not true genetic forms, such morphological plasticity enables the species to survive and dominate across a range of aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats. When growing away from open water, the plant produces deep taproots and a total roots mass up to seven times heavier than plants growing over open water. The loaves of terrestrial plants are smaller and have fewer flowers.

When floating over water the plant grows more vigorously and has taller, thicker stems with large internal air spaces and larger, darker leaves. The aquatic form is still rooted in soil near the water's edge or in under-water substrate. Severe frosts kill stems, but regrowth occurs quickly from stems or underground rhizomes buried in soil when favourable conditions return.

Optimum growth occurs in fresh water with a high nutrient level, which results in higher fodder yield. It can tolerate brackish water and, once established on land, will survive extreme by periods. Considering its vigorous growth and ability to re-establish from stem fragments, alligator weed has the potential to establish in all areas and inland agricultural and urban areas (where water is not a limiting factor). Alligator weed can feed 7.5 cows/ha for about 300 days in the year (Alford, 1952).


Like most other aquatic plants, alligator weed has very high moisture content, the dry matter generally varies between 5-9 percent. The crude protein content of the whole plant is about 16-20 per cent, although a level as its as 12 per cent was reported in studies. Sushil Kumar and Kamlesh Vishwalcarma (2005) reported that the crude protein of the fresh green part of Alligator weed from India was 14.58 percent DM.

The crude protein content of the leaf appears to be higher than the whole plant and varies between 21-22 percent. Like most other aquatic plants, the crude lipid content of Alligator weed is usually its and varies between 2-4 percent on a dry matter basis regardless of whole plant or leaves (Sushil Kumar and Kamlesh Vishwakarma 2005).

The ash content of whole plants varies between 12-16 percent (Davis, 1970). Crude fibre content is usually high in Alligator weed and ranges between 16-17 percent, irrespective of whole plant or leaves.

Davis, (1970) and Sushil Kumar and Kamlesh Vishwakarma (2005), in a review also reported levels of some other components: celluloses 21.3 per cent; tannin 1.2 percent; caloric 3.46 k cal/g; pectin 1-2 percent; Ca 2-3 percent: Mg 2-3 percent; phosphorus 0.18 percent; total phenolics 4.1 (mg 100 g-1); total carbohydrates 15.4 (mg g-1) and total free amino acid 1.92 (mg g-1).


The palatability of alligator weed, in addition to their high moisture content, restricts the ability of the animals to obtain adequate nourishment The palatability of the feed process from alligator weed is comparable with that of conventional feed. Alford, (1952) also reported that cattle sometimes almost swimming, into the fields to graze alligator weed.

They readily eat the dead part on top, then pull the green stems from below the surface. Dairy cattle voluntarily consumed Alligator weed, but animal performance was best when the amount of Alligator weed was less than 50./0 of the complete diet, but beyond this amount the animal suffers from mineral imbalance, which leads to reducing the body weight.

This might be due to the high level of mineral or toxic substances present in the fodder crops. Semi dry feeding of Alligator weed was found more palatable and beneficial as compared with fresh feeding. Further research is required for improvement of this nutritious fodder crop.


A.philox.oides can be fed as pasture, green chop, silage, or hay. Pasture is harvested by the animal, and if it is not managed correctly, harvest losses can be severe. Harvest losses of pasture are greatly reduced when intensively managed grazing is practiced If animals are allowed to graze a large land area at one time, much of the forage will be trampled, contaminated with manure, or otherwise wasted.

Alligator weed are commonly harvested, and used for stall fodder purposes. The productivity varies widely and is dependent on the cutting management practices. Delay in cutting results in poor regeneration, 20 days interval cutting results in higher fodder yield, compared with delayed cutting.

Storage losses are very high due to high moisture cont.; however, with a proper post harvest management technique these losses can be minimized. Sun drying for about 3 his before storing reduced storage loss.


Fresh A.philoxeroides are rich in moisture and mineral nutrient, fresh feeding results in high risk of diarrhoea and mineral imbalance. Sun drying about 3 his or shade drying for 48 his help in reducing from such risk. Feeding of Alligator weed was found more beneficial, when feed with less than 50% of the complete diet, or in the ratio of 50:50 with rice straw. Use of a chaff cutter increased palatability.


Normally the alligator weed is free from high poisonous effects. But higher quantity and continuous feeding of fresh alligator weed result in high risk of diarrhoea in dairy cattle. The risk of diarrhoea is highest at the early stage, decreasing progressively as the plant matures. In Australia some cases of photosensitization are reported in daily cattle due to the intake of alligator weed (Bourke and Rayward. 2003).


Alligator weed grows in all types of freshwater, lentic and lotic. They are productive plants since they are warm water species with deep taproots and a total root mass up to seven times heavier than plants growing over open water. The productivity varies widely and is dependent on the management, environmental factors, number of cuts and depth of water under which it grows.

Delay in cutting results in poor regeneration, 20 days interval cutting results in higher fodder yield. Stagnant water gave higher yield than running water. Yields of A.philox.oides may increase up to 835 tonnes/ha/year. Alford, (1952) reported that Alligator weed can feed 7.5 cows/ha for about 300 days in the year.

However, further expansion in area and improving in management practice of this fodder crop may not be possible, these plants are considered as noxious weeds.

For further details contact -
Public Relations & Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal.
Email: prmmcell@gmailcom

* R Joseph Koireng / N Rakesh Singh / Ch Kennedy Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on November 28 2022.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • My Memories of Imphal #9 : Download
  • World Cancer Day at Imphal
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Bihari parties' in Nagaland election
  • Love for Unity :: Poem
  • Mental Health & Social Policy at Meghalaya
  • Couch surfing !
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #5 :: Gallery
  • World Wetland Day @Keibul Lamjao: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Wild Edible Fleshy Fungi :: Book Review
  • World Wetlands Day at Keibul Lamjao
  • Cramps in legs and feet: What to do ?
  • Challenge for state in meeting JMM objective
  • Drug menace & the HIV reality
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Chinese New Year @Bangkok 2023 :: Gallery
  • It's time for Wetlands restoration
  • Popularization of Science at Chandel
  • Aqua-based IFS model : Options
  • Want fabulous skin this Winter ?
  • Local contractor paying high price for past
  • Take the War on Drugs beyond
  • Sangai Fest: Anal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • International Bioresource Conclave
  • Chanchui Khayi wins Mega Miss NE 2022
  • Happiness :: Poem
  • Indispensable e-Governance but
  • Mass movement must to preserve forests
  • Reaching out to the interiors
  • Singcha Wuya Won @ Kamjong :: Gallery
  • 4 (Manipur) Battalion the Assam Rifles
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Hazardous chemical contaminants in fishes
  • YouTube as a Career Choice
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • My belated New Year resolution
  • Healthcare inadequacy hallmark of rural area
  • Incursion from across border
  • Puya Awareness / Exhibition :: Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2023 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Dealing with peer pressure: Tips for student
  • The inspiration to choose right
  • Sholas of Ootacamund
  • Critical analysis of reservation system
  • Manipur favourite destination for refugees
  • Disturbing call from Lamlongei
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • Whither women's reproductive health in Asia
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Primary Health Center (PHC) at Tamei
  • Center Manager @ Imphal
  • IT Advance Trainer @ Imphal
  • Mealybugs & their biological control in NE
  • Namesake varsities exploiting education
  • Already 30 days into 2023
  • My Memories of Imphal #8 : Download
  • MaolKeki Foundation celebrates 5th Anniv
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • As a war rages...
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose #2
  • Wakhal Eronba (Leela) #2 :: Gallery
  • Echoes of Higher Education in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • National Tourism Day 2023
  • Multi-State Cooperative Seed Society
  • The Mute Tree :: Poem
  • Artificial Intelligence Weapons, World at risk
  • Axe falls on 5 as anti-drug drive intensifies
  • Imphal-Ukhrul road stretch
  • Barak Festival & Dam Plans: Contradictions
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Metamorphosis: 2023, Naga CM not need ...
  • History of Diabetes
  • Green Chemistry, for a sustainable world #2
  • Mr Imphal East Body Building :: Gallery
  • Taibang Keithel (2018) :: Review
  • Seiboi Singsit: Top achiever in Forest Dept
  • A Legal Discussion on "Frontier Nagaland"
  • Netaji & Dattatreya Hosabale
  • Thirukkural, the universal scripture
  • Perennial boundary row
  • Growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • Support of all essential to win war on drugs
  • NH-102, part of Indo-Burma Road :: Gallery
  • Transforming education for Govt schools
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Crying foul of officials of Forest Dept
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose #1
  • Fish stock manipulation techniques #2
  • Workplace mental health matters
  • Education : Outside Manipur, why ?
  • Hand over case to CBI demand
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lai Haraoba #7 :: Gallery
  • Swiss Artist in Manipur
  • Deepika Mayanglambam: Netaji Bose Award
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Yes to: "Nagas Are Moving Ahead"
  • 4th Plenary Session of World Meetei Council
  • Tips for preventing cold weather acne
  • No time for verbal spat over drug issue
  • Louroi Festival @ Khurai #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Green Chemistry, for a sustainable world #1
  • Avatar of God :: Poem
  • ABHM appoints President for Northeast
  • A journey towards knowing ourselves
  • Follow up action - dismissal from service
  • More than half a century of Statehood
  • My Memories of Imphal #7 : Download
  • Tanthapolis Cinema at Sanakeithel
  • Nagas are moving ahead : A Commentary
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Vermi with aquaculture for farmer's income
  • The shameful game behind the games
  • Sangai Fest: Basanta Raas #1 :: Gallery
  • My fear for Manipuri Khorirol
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • 50 years of NS films to be observed
  • Time to use election to defeat Status quoists
  • Courage Begets Crown :: Poem
  • RSS, Mohan Bhagwat's mind
  • Healthcare sector in hills on Govt radar
  • Bringing home the spirit of the WC
  • Tributes to Oja Naba Wareppa :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Mishti Doi : Kolkata Diary
  • Fish stock manipulation techniques #1
  • Vibrant border villages: A 'game changer'
  • Keep your hands soft and smooth this winter
  • Success tale of Phalee village
  • Drugs and poppy in dry Manipur
  • Fish Fair @Hapta Kangjeibung #2 :: Gallery
  • The Sangai Film Festival, 2022
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Missionaries left enduring righteousness
  • Transaction of budget & financial business
  • Reliance Foundation Youth Sports concluded
  • Improved highways perilous for rule resisters
  • An unlikely ally for ATSUM
  • Nupilan & its impact in Manipuri society
  • Romi Meitei's Eikhoigi Yum :: Review
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Selected Screen Projects for Screen Lab
  • Moirang & Port Blair in freedom struggle #2
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphelpat
  • 33rd Phek Area Sports Association Meet
  • Indian Army as a career choice
  • Multiple hurdles in battling drug menace
  • A process dating back to 1997
  • Louroi Festival @ Khurai #1 :: Gallery
  • South East Asian in performing art
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • BINER 2.0 @Manipur Tech Innovation hub
  • Frontier Nagaland- Marching toward Solution
  • Are our life predetermined by a higher power
  • The 108 Divya Desam Temples
  • Water crisis here to stay
  • Beyond arresting the 5 cops
  • 29th Imphal Book Fair Jan 15 2023 :: Gallery
  • 'Yumpham yaodaba / khudam leitaba wafamni'
  • Capacity Building program at Moreh
  • Health Technology : Can it solve health issues
  • A Sternly Life :: Poem
  • Sukrunye, festival of Chakhesang at Phek
  • Empowering through sex education #2
  • 'War on drugs' campaign winnable...
  • Second edition of the War on Drugs
  • My Memories of Imphal #6 : Download
  • Huidrom Nageshwar: Expedition to Antarctica
  • NNPG and NSCN joint statement
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • The Village Playground :: Poem
  • Diabetes treatment beyond medications
  • TN CM Stalin out to prove good politics...
  • Yaoshang Thabal competition #3 :: Gallery
  • 'Champions of Film Heritage Award'
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • BIG grant, Ideation to Proof of concept
  • Amit Shah poses teasers for Naga leaders
  • State delimitation & gerrymandering
  • Nail care in Winters
  • Half-hearted upgrade of DM University
  • Prohibition lifted, now what ?
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 :: Gallery
  • Around the famous Loktak Lake!
  • Moirang & Port Blair in freedom struggle #1
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • NE India Launchpad 2.0 program
  • L Tonthoi: Best Female Actor @ GIFC
  • World Climate 2022, an overview
  • Drying up of Singda dam water fallout...
  • Shiv Sena: Hitting the right button
  • Nupilal Ningshing Lamjel #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Frontier Nagaland Movement- a better world
  • An introduction to Manipuri Vaishnavism #2
  • Buried Deep :: Poem
  • Empowering through sex education #1
  • Robert Memorial Badminton at Senapati
  • Firearms in the hands of reckless denizen
  • Lessons from the past
  • State Level Gaan Ngai #2 :: Gallery
  • Ima Savitri - Documentary film : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Chahi Taret Khuntakpa' at Cachar
  • Emerging Manipur peace, prosperity @growth
  • State of the States 2022: Manipur on top
  • War on Drugs mission far from being over
  • Of Leikhom, Leinang & Uphul, Waiphul
  • New Year picnic @Singda #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Sangai Dance :: Gallery
  • 50th years of Manipuri Cinema celebration !
  • Nations wished to no more have war
  • Emerging career options
  • Spike in vehicle sale: Traffic chaos imminent
  • Cong making the right noises
  • Tupul Landslide site construction :: Gallery
  • Addressing skill aspirations among adolescent
  • Shumang Leela Kumhei #1 :: Gallery
  • State Level Gaan Ngai #1 :: Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #6: Gallery
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #2 :: Gallery
  • Dr Savitadidi N Mehta Museum :: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023