With the food supply becoming increasingly toxic due to GMOs and dangerous pesticides being sprayed all over crops, this news will come as a breath of fresh air for you.
An ancient method of growing rice (but not limited to that) dubbed integrated rice-duck farming has made a comeback and is luring more and more farmers into adopting it.
The technique, which has been rediscovered by Asian farmers, is slowly taking over the farming landscape by providing ingenious and effective solutions that satisfy both customer and producer’s needs.
Countries like France and Iran (besides Asian countries like China and Japan) are embracing this “duck farming” method and are making it known to their peers.
Even more, winemakers in South Africa have employed this practice to help with their vineyards, which means the method can be adapted to all sorts of agricultural fields.
If I have incited your curiosity, here is a short explanatory video showing the duck squadron at work.
Now let’s explain how this works and how the end-result benefits us all.
A squad of eager ducks are let loose inside the rice fields. Their main mission is to keep pests away from the fields, as well as pluck out all weeds they come across.
Furthermore, they unload manure which acts as a natural plant fertilizer, therefore eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
Just like any ancient tradition, coming the industrialization age, farmers were lured away from these benevolent practices by the hassle-free alternatives of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Until recently, very few people knew of the dangers arising with synthetic alternatives.
Recent years have shown just how dangerous these practices are for consumers and the environment. And all this harm is done for profits.
Even more, recent climate changes have rendered some chemically-induced protective pest-protective measures obsolete, therefore leaving crops spoiled and at the mercy of overwhelming pest waves.
To tackle this, farmers worldwide have made a comeback to traditional Asian methods.
The intent of integrated duck-rice farming has been to limit or prevent harm done to human beings and the environment by artificial practices. That and the ever-increasing need of high-quality products.
For now, let’s focus on rice plantations and hear some of the stories of those early adopters.
In 2012, Liu Shangwen, 37-year-old entrepreneur and environmentalist saw the opportunity of achieving better and healthier crops, as well as increase his profits by providing his customers with high-quality food.
Rice is a staple food in China, and I’ve heard of enlisting ducks to produce organic rice from my previous work,” said Liu in an interview for National Geographic.
Back in the 1970s, there were no chemical pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in the village,” added Tang, participant in Liu’s rice-duck farming course. Ducks also helped a lot, by eating or crushing snails.
At that time, insect attacks were barely a concern.”
For those participants who are discovering this efficient method, it feels like going back to the roots when their ancestors employed the same practices to ultimately harvest healthy and rigorous crops.
Word of mouth is making duck-rice integrated farming a novelty and a must-learn for every farmer caring for customer’s health and an increase in profits for the extra quality they provide.
This technique so far has seen rapid adoption. Besides growing rice, farming in humid environments could benefit massively from this method.
I’m wondering when Americans will start using it, and how many other use-cases may arise in the upcoming years.
Have your tried something similar so far? Are you willing to give duck-farming a go? What areas of agriculture do you think this method would benefit most?