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Raising ducks to boost organic rice production.

Countries:
Start project:
  • 2012

Growing rice and ducks together in an irrigated paddy field could well be a solution to providing food security for a surging population in the Philippines. Agricultural industry is a key focus of development in the Philippines, the Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System or IRDFS provides an innovative and local solution. Not only does this program increase the income and food security of local farmers, it's also environmental friendly.

In the Philippines, agriculture is a crucial sector for poverty reduction. Almost three-quarter of poor Filipinos live in rural areas where agriculture is the primary and often only source of income. Creating a sustainable and competitive agricultural industry is a key focus of development in the Philippines, as this will bring inclusive growth to a large segment of the population. Also, the increasing impacts of climate change, and need to provide food security for a surging population, growth in agriculture has become a more urgent priority for region leaders than ever before.

The Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System or IRDFS provides an innovative and local solution, by growing rice and ducks together in an irrigated paddy field. The paddling movement of the ducklings/ducks stimulates the rice plants to produce massive tillers. Duck manure fertilizes the soil and eventually eliminates the need for synthetic fertilizers. The ducks also eat the harmful insects and weeds, thus eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides. In short, the ducklings/ducks perform the functions of pest management, weed management, tillers stimulation, cultivation, and fertilization. The ducks are environment and health workers. As a sustainable organic farming system, IRDFS eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides/herbicides. Due to the elimination of synthetic inputs, the physical and chemical properties of the soil are improved over time. Also, studies show that ducks in the rice paddies effectively reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas methane, ultimately contributing to alleviate global warming. And IRDFS is helping to address schistosomiasis, a chronic public health disease affecting farmers, local folks and freshwater fisherfolk and their families, which is endemic in select parts of the country. The ducks eat the schisto-carrying snails, making a significant impact in reducing its population thus reducing its infection and re-infection to humans.

In select provinces in the Philippines, IRDFS has increased rice productivity up to 9 tons per hectare (average is only 4.2 tons/ha using conventional rice farming technology), while reducing the cost of production by 30%. In addition, farmers also gain extra income from the sale of duck meat and duck eggs, whether raw or processed into salted egg or balut, a local Filipino delicacy that is in very high demand.

In the medium to long-term, the adoption of the IRDFS will contribute to improve the quality of life of farmers, as evidenced by increased savings and income, better family nutrition (chemical-free rice, duck meat and duck eggs), and a healthier lifestyle brought about by less exposure to harmful chemicals.

Making Jakarta & Manila Sustainable Inclusive Cities

Today half of the world's population, about 3.5 billion people, live in cities. It is expected that by 2050 6.5 billion ...

Countries:
Project started:
  • 2016
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Read more about Making Jakarta & Manila Sustainable Inclusive Cities

Response to typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines (ACT)

Countries:
Project started:
  • 2013
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Read more about Response to typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines (ACT)

Integrating Climate Resilience in Typhoon Rehabilitation

In view of projections for a harsher and more extreme climate in the future, the program aims to ...

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Project started:
  • 2014
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