---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 13:13:00 EDT
To: permaculture <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: one-duck revolution
In current issue of The Ecologist (Vol. 29, No.6, October 1999), is a very
interesting article on low-input, high-yield rice growing in Japan.
Based around the role of duck as pest control in paddies.
Developed by Mr and Mrs Furuno. Called "Aigamo method" after Japanese name
for the duck.
Method now spreading rapidly - 10,000 farmers have taken it up across SE Asia.
Yields increased 20-50percent. One farmer increased income 3x.
Also called "one-bird revolution" (some Masanobu Fukuoka inspiration I guess).
Furunos have made v.good video (inc English) apparently.
The duck is key to the sucess:
-Key is to release ducklings into paddies soon after rice seeds planted.
-Ducks don't eat the seedlings - silica content too high.
-Ducks readily take to paddies.
-About 20 ducklings per 1/10 ha.
Ducks are good because:
-Paddling makes stems stronger and thicker (has been demonstrated in
-Eat insect pests and golden snails which attack rice plants.
-Also eat seeds and seedlings of weeds.
-Feet oxygenate water and stimulate roots as they pull up the weeds (again
-Ducks so good at weeding that 3rd world farmers can rest instead of 240
hrs weeding p.a.
-Ducks of course are fed on weeds/pests.
-Ducks left in fields 24hrs p.d.
-When rice forms ears of grains, ducks rounded up (would eat the grains).
-Then returned to shed and fed on waste grain.
-They mature, lay eggs and get ready for market.
Ducks not only inhabitant of paddies:
-Azolla, "duckweed" aquatic fern (which harbours blue-green algae as
symbiont), is also grown.
-Azolla efficient nitrogen fixer.
-Azolla eaten by ducks and attracts insects which are eaten by ducks.
-Plant doubles every 3 days - can be harvested as cattle feed.
-Duckweed spreads out to cover surface of water, providing cover for roach.
-Roach feed on duck faeces, daphnia and other worms, which in turn feed on
-Fish and ducks provide fertiliser for rice throughout growing season.
-Rice provides cover for ducks.
Aigamo paddy fields is balanced, self-maintaining, self-propagating.
Only external input is waste grain fed to ducks (+ some labour of course).
Furuno farm is 2ha. 1.4 is paddy, rest is organic vegetables.
Output p.a. = 7tons rice, 300 ducks, 4,000 ducklings and enough organic veg
for 100 people.
Aigamo method, like that other Japanese method of M.Fukuoka shows that
high-yield organic is not labour intensive. Author is Mae-Wan Ho, head of
Electro-biodynamics at Open University, UK.>>
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