Integrated rice-duck farming

Practical Action is implementing integrated rice-duck farming project in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal with the financial support of Grand Challenges Canada.

The project period is 18 months starting from 1 April 2014 and ending on 30 October 2015. The total project budget is CAD 112,000. The project has set target to build the capacity of 1,000 small holder farmers to adopt the rice-duck farming technology in two implementing districts.

Rice-duck farming

Rice-duck farming is an integrated type of farming technology. It is especially suitable for resource poor farmers to produce organic rice in low cost.

The evidence from various countries including Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Vietnam has proved the integration of ducks in rice field as a successful and productive farming technology. In case of Nepal, study or research regarding this technology has not been done so far. However, duck raising in small scale is a common practice in particular regions and communities. Likewise, integration of ducks in a fish pond is also occasionally practised.

Rice-duck farming technology has good potential in Terai regions of Nepal, especially among Tharu communities. The pilot research carried out by Practical Action from April-November 2013 proved this technology to be beneficial in terms of providing social, economic and environmental benefits. In this type of farming technology, ducks are released in the field after 10-20 days of rice transplantation till the time of flowering. The integration of ducks in rice field creates symbiotic relationship between rice and ducks yielding mutual benefits to both entities as follows:

  • Ducks eat harmful insects and weeds averting the use of chemical pesticides and manual weeding in the rice field.
  • Ducks gets nutritious diet from eating insects and weeds in rice field.
  • The droplets of ducks acts as a natural fertilizer to the rice crop preventing the use of chemical fertilizers.
  • The continuous movement of ducks in the rice field provides natural stimulation and aeration which increases the availability of nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash to the rice crop.
  • Rice-duck technology causes the reduction of emission of methane gas from rice field contributing to reduce the global warming.

Against the traditional rice farming system, integrated rice-duck technology supersedes in terms of minimizing the cost of production, increasing rice productivity, providing environmental benefits and increasing the income of farmers through sale of organic rice and duck meat. Rice-duck farming technology can increase the productivity of rice by 20 per cent and net profit to the farmers by 50 per cent. Duck meat has high content of protein and other nutrition which can significantly contribute to address the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition.

The major objective of the project is to improve food security status of smallholder farmers and reduce the malnutrition among children under five year’s age. The specific objectives of the project are to increase the income of the farmers and make the availability of nutritious diet.

Integrated rice-duck farming in Nepal

An introduction to Practical Action's work with integrated rice-duck farming in the Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal.

Blogs and case studies

Simple technology – great results!

This year, Ramlal cultivated paddy like every other year. But this year, his field was greener and healthier than that of his neighbours. Even the other farmers observed his field curiously. Though most people assumed that he must have worked too hard to get this result, he actually had neither weeded nor used any pesticides or chemical fertilisers in his field ...

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Rice duck farming – an early adopter’s story

Before, Raj Mani Chaudhary did not have any idea about rice duck farming. He used to plant paddy in his field in a traditional way like he always used to do. But it was not until last year when he found out about Practical Action’s Rice Duck Farming Pilot Project. He was really curious, so he attended the training ...

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Farmers know better

I was on a field trip to rice-duck project sites in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts last week to observe how well the farmers have been adopting the project ideas and approaches. But, as I concluded my trip, I came to the realization that the farmers know better ...

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