OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental, May 17 - “It is an odd thing, the first time we did it,” declared Almer Galabin, a farmer-leader and chairman of the Mamanga Daku ARC Cooperative that piloted rice-duck farming at Mamanga Daku Agrarian Reform Community (ARC).
This organic rice farming technology has grown increasing curiosity among farmers in the community.
The idea of rice-duck farming came when Mamanga Daku ARC was covered by Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Under the program, Xavier Science Foundation, a service provider and consultant hired for Agricultural Extension Services linked Mamanga Daku ARC to the Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for National Development (PARFUND), who introduced the rice-duck ideas and extended training programs for the technology. The technology will help farmers minimized the use of expensive and hazardous chemicals.
Rice-duck farming, an ecological rice farming method using ducks, was devised by Takao Furuno, a Japanese farmer and an outstanding social entrepreneur. According to published reports his idea of releasing ducks into the rice paddies, has achieved a higher yield and lesser financial capital.
According to Galabin, he noted several advantages in adopting rice-duck farming technology. Ducks eat weeds so that there’s not much weeding activity to do. Ducks also eat insects which destroy the plant, and the ducks droppings fertilized the growing rice. Ducks also eat golden snails which are serious threat to rice.
Plaridel Mayor Diego Ty, who is himself an advocate of organic farming supported the program by allocating funds for the learning expedition of the LGU Staff and Mamanga Daku farmers to Valencia City in Bukidnon, purposely to acquire skills and knowledge from successful rice-duck farmers. The municipal government of Plaridel in Misamis Occidental promised more support for the development of rice-duck farming in Mamanga Daku ARC including the establishment of a duck breeding station which Mamanga Daku ARC Cooperative planned to establish in the future. (Arnold V.Quicoy DAR-PIO)