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Takao Furuno

In the mid 1970s, Takao Furuno, a high-spirited farmer who had been influenced by Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, was determined to turn his farm organic and spent 10 years doing back-breaking work of pulling out weeds by hand. In 1988, he came upon a traditional practice of using aigamo ducks to protect rice. Based on this practice, Takao created Duck Revolution. He is a graduate of Kushu University and representative of the Japan Duck and Rice Association.

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Duck Revolution
Model
Non-profit Social Enterprise
Sectors
Future of Food; Agriculture, Food and Beverage
Headquarters
Japan
Areas of Impact
South Asia, Japan, ASEAN

Duck Revolution

Duck Revolution is an integrated organic rice and duck farming system that significantly increases yields. Inspiration for Duck Revolution came to Takao Furuno in 1988 when he came upon a traditional practice of using aigamo ducks to protect rice. The ducks eat insects, pests and snails and use their feet to dig up weeds, in the process oxygenating the water and strengthening the roots of rice plants. Furuno calls this method the “duck effect.”

Based on this method, Furuno has developed and disseminated a sustainable organic rice and duck farming system, which significantly increases yields, boosts farmers' incomes and decreases their workload while reducing environmental damage and increasing food security.

Takao has successfully marketed duck rice, which now sells at a 20-30% premium over conventionally grown rice in Japan and other countries. His 3.2-hectare farm gives him an income of $160,000 a year from producing rice, organic vegetables, eggs and ducklings. After demonstrating that small-scale organic farming can be highly productive, he is disseminating his ideas. He has authored best-selling books on his methods, such as The Power of Duck, as well as an aigamo duck cookbook. Through his writing, travel, lectures and cooperation with agricultural organizations and governments, his methods have spread to more than 75,000 farmers in Japan as well as South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, India, Cuba and Bangladesh.