Authors: Rodrigue R. & Shayla A.

In 1978, Takao Furuno decided to stop all use of pesticides to improve rice production. He decided to first reintroduce carp into rice fields, and the results were nonetheless disappointing. In 1988, he attempted to release common ducks into the field inspired by ancient Chinese methods for fertilization, and the results were incredible!

Within the first three years, the ducks were regularly attacked by dogs and prevented proper production, yet was solved by closing the fields with electric wires. Little by little, biodiversity was re-established and a productive eco-system reappeared. This process was stimulated by:

  • Ducks feeding on insects & weeds

  • Ducks excrements fed plankton

  • Plankton fed fish

  • Nitrogenous plants favour growth of rice

Picture Credit : TCLocal

The farm was ultimately organized, combining organic rice, fish, and duck farming.

  • The ducklings were released in June within the rice fields

  • Recovered in September with rice harvest

  • The ducks then have 3 destinations :

    1.  The breeding for the laying, & the release in the rice fields of the following season.

    2. Butchery for additional income.

    3. A release in the wild for a return to the wildlife.

Picture Credit : Web-Japan

Takao’s 3.2 hectare farm provided him with an income of $160,000/year from rice production, organic vegetables, eggs, fish, and ducklings.

Through his writing, travel, lectures, and co-operation with agricultural organizations and governments, his methods have spread to more than 75,000 farmers in Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Iran, & Cuba!

 Picture Credit : Web-Japan

If you are a farmer that is interested in utilizing the Duck-Rice method or simply to learn more about the topic, click the link below for more information on how to recreate such a system:

His passion for the preservation and health of the small family farm is backed up by a deep understanding of how modern society works. Never underestimate small actions!

Sources for this article : BipizWeb JapanWikipediaYouTube & The Azolla Foundation