Follow the farmer’s lead
In Japan, farmers are now using ducks to grow their rice crops instead of harmful pesticides. The specially trained ducks are released into the paddy fields and feast on insects and weeds, which allows the rice crops to grow.
The ducks even eat the weed’s seeds, preventing new weeds from growing around the plants.
What don’t they eat? The rice plants.
Aside from serving as a more natural solution that’s better for human consumption, the rice-duck method helps protect the rice from typhoons and harsh weather conditions, results in natural aeration increasing nutrients like potash, nitrogen, and phosphorous within the rice, reduces the emission of methane gas that contributes to global warming, and provides the ducks with a nutritious diet of seeds, insects, and weeds.
This environmentally-friendly method is used by countries such as South Korea, Japan, China, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and even Iran, and is especially helpful for farmers who wish to produce organic rice without the high costs.
It seems everything and everyone from the environment to the ducks to the farmers benefit from using this method. The Rice-Duck approach lowers the cost of production, increases rice productivity, and also increases the farmer’s salary, as they’re able to produce more organic rice without sacrificing their hard-earned money.
After seeing how effective Rice-Duck farming was for several countries, global innovator Practical Action, began implementing a similar project in the Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal with a goal of helping smallholder farmers create a sustainable and dependable means of earning revenue all while also providing more nutritious crops to ensure civilians are getting the nutrients they need.
As part of the program, participants attend rice-duck farming training where they learn about how to raise the ducks, space transplanting the rice, fencing, integrating the ducks into the rice field, and more.
They also provided the farmers with the ducklings so they could have all the resources they needed for a successful transition right from the beginning, supporting farmers and their neighbors in their effort to help save the environment, create a more dependable and higher income, and help raise healthier children.
Thank you, Rebecca Wojno!