They are not only pest-eaters, but fertilize as they go and as well as rice harvest there is eggs & duck produced..
This week, we'll be bringing you a series of reports on the development of organic farming here in Taiwan, starting with a visit to Miaoli, where a local association called "Duck Field Rice" is bringing animal and plant life back to the paddy fields. It's good news for the environment, and the rice quality and yield are up as well.
Ducks to the weeding at this farm
Little ducklings take to the paddy field, which has just been planted with rice. They look adorable. But they have a serious mission to clear the field of weeds and pests.
The man who came up with the idea of going back to the duck farming method of his grandmother's age, is a former bicycle parts company boss, Li Qingzhang, who says, making the switch to agriculture was a challenge.
Duck Field Rice president, Li Qingzhang:"The ducks will also destroy little rice seedlings by eating and even treading on them. The duration, the size of the ducks, and the growth time of the seedlings has to be controlled. So later we developed what we call the Duck Field Rice method."
The president of the ecological association, which is also called "Duck Field Rice", says he developed his formulae through trial and error. Brought up on a traditional farm, Li Qingzhang made a success of his local bicycle parts business. But he noticed how the countryside, that he knew and loved from his childhood, was rapidly fading away.
Li says after chemical agricultural methods were introduced, living organisms completely disappeared from the farms.
On his ecological farm, Li points out the gaps in the rocks beside the pool, which provide a habitat for fish and crustaceans. A second and third pool, filter the water using a variety of plants to purify the supply. The clever water cleaning system is also a breeding pond for living organisms. Even the rocks come from a local quarry.
Rice production and quality up
The ecosystem exists in harmony with the farm. Production and quality are both way up, proving that sustainable agricultural methods can work in practice. The pioneer farm has attracted the interest people from all walks of life, who come here to volunteer.
Duck Field Rice general manager, Xiao Minghong:"We've been close to nature since childhood. Thinking back, we feel if we don't start caring, then things will keep getting worse and worse. "
Husband and wife volunteer on farm
A former landscape gardener, Xiao Minghong now extols the virtues of ecological farming. One of his converts is his wife, Lin Cuilian, who now helps monitor the aquatic habit.
The joy of seeing species reproduce successfully is what attracted the homemaker to the farm.
By Arina Pittman
␣ Nankin cherry
␣ Sand Cherry
␣ Siberian Pea Shrub
␣ Day Lily
␣ Black Mulberry, White Mulberry
␣ Black Locust
␣ Sea Buckthorn
␣ Pasture Grass
␣ Strawberry clover
␣ Brassicas (mustard, broccoli etc)
␣ Hairy Vetch
␣ Crown Vetch
␣ Berries – currants, gooseberries, raspberry
also see the