Rice-Duck [AIGAMO] Farming

Back Ground
Before 1945, especially around the Kinki area (middle part of Japanese main island), farmers used wild ducks in paddy fields for weed-free maintenance.Mr. Takao Furuno, who lived in Keisen-cho, Fukuoka prefecture learned the method as known Rice-Duck farming now, from Mr. Toshio Okita (Fukumitsu-cho, Toyama prefecture) and put into practice since 1988.

Rice-Duck Farming is considered as one of the method of Organic Agriculture.
The Definition of organic products by JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards) is that products produced in the fields where no chemical fertilizer and agricultural chemicals are used more than 2 years before seeding or planting (in the case of perennials, more than 3 years since the first harvest). The Fields must be applied natural compost.

Weeding by Aigamo Duck

Aigamos are pastured for a week, making a group is their typical behavior.Pictured at Aikawa-cho Kanagawa, May 1995

Edible ducks are moving in the water aisle in Can Tho, Vietnam.Rice-Duck (Aigamo) Farming is also taken place in Vietnam. July, 1995.

The scene of Rice-Duck(Aigamo) Farming in Vietnam. Baby Aigamos looks alike ducks.  Suburb of Hyphon-city, Vietnam. Aug.1995
Hydrodictyon reticulatum covered all over the paddy field. Aikawa-cho, Kanagawa.  June 1994 Hydrodictyon reticulatum in paddy field (one third of upper part)are completely weeded by pastured Aigamos for a week. Two third of down part are not weeded at all. Aikawa-cho, Kanagawa. May 1995 Paddy field supplied with Chemical fertilizer as used to. Hydrodictyon reticulatum is less likely grown compared with organic agriculture. Aikawa-cho,  July 1994
Enlarged pictures of Hydrodictyon reticulatum. Blue duck weed and Duck weed in paddy field.

There is no duck weed in the paddy field where ducks are pastured.

Paddy field are covered with lots of duckweed in the case Aigamos are not pastured.

Aigamos in paddy field are weeding for two months. They have grown up to almost full size.

Paddy field just before harvest where Aigamos are pastured. There is no weed.

Scenery of paddy fields
A peaceful rural view of paddy field at Aikawa-cho, Kanagawa where the research for Rice-Duck(Aigamo)  Farming is examined.Along the left side of mountains, Nakatugawa River, a branch stream of Sagami River, also known as good spot for Ayu fishing, is running.Miyagase multi- purpose dam is located at the left side of beyond the road. This dam supplies the drinking water for the residents of Kanagawa prefecture.
 Left: Pictured taken in late May.      Right: Pictured taken in early October.