Farmers around the world are increasingly 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 process, known as integrated rice-duck farming, is not new. Growing ducks and rice together in irrigated paddy fields was documented in China centuries ago, and Chinese farmers practiced it until quick fixes involving synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and chemical pesticides became prevalent.
Now with more people aware of the growing threat of industrial agriculture on the environment, some farmers have once again turned to ancient wisdom.
Integrated rice-duck farming is now being deployed by farmers in Japan, South Korea, China, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Iran. This environmentally-friendly method also enables farmers to produce organic rice without the high costs.
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.
Image Credit: Greenpeace
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com