A Good Taste of Ecological Planting
The harvest season comes. What occurs to your mind? Is it the golden paddy rice being blown by the gentle breeze? Come to the Eco-agricultural Products Fair that World Vision held together with local government of Huangkeng village, Suichuan County, Jiangxi Province. As a foodie, you can have a taste of the green products and get to know the story behind.
Mr. Gong is now the team leader of paddy-duck farming project, supported by World Vision. Being a migrant worker for over a decade, he returned home in 2008. However, when he once again went into the fields, he found that the old species of crops were no longer popular, and what's more, chemical fertilizer and pesticide were widely used to ensure the production. As a result, the soil fertility and environment had been destroyed. The sale of agriculture products was not so good either.
“Can we stop using or use less pesticide and fertilizer?” Gong started to seek for a more environmental-friendly way of farming. After consulting professionals, he began to use low-toxic pesticide and lowered the frequency and amount used.
“But there is still pesticide residue on the rice, which is harmful for our health”, Gong said. Through internet, he understood more about eco-agriculture. In 2014, he even tried planting ecological rice by himself. But he still faced with problems on pests and plants disease.
In the spring of 2015, under the support of World Vision, Gong tried planting two acres of good conventional species of rice, called Xiangyaxiang, in the ecological way. Instead of pesticide and chemical fertilizers, dozens of ducks were put into the paddy field because the ducks can eat insects and decline the growing speed of weed. Their manure can also turn into eco-friendly fertilizer. As a result, Gong drove ducks to fields in the morning and drove them back home in the evening for months. Even though the production of trial rice was not so high, the sweet smell of it when milling encouraged Gong to perseverant.
“It’s healthier and safer!” Gong always believes the value of ecological agriculture.
This year, he participated in the paddy-duck farming project supported by World Vision and the Guangdong Lvgeng social work organization. The project aims to encourage small-scale raising of conventional rice, using manure and ecological methods, instead of chemical fertilizer and pesticide, to do pest-control. It will improve the community environment gradually, and continuously provide community children with healthy eco-agricultural food. Gong has not only expanded the cultivation of Xiangyaxiang rice, but also tried to grow other species of rice imported from Guangxi Province. Under the guidance of World Vision staff, he not only used manure as base fertilizer, but also uses insects killing lamps to reduce effects of pests when ducks are driven home.
A few days earlier, Gong shared his feeling on WeChat, "Our trail on Guifeng, an old rice species, succeeded. Although the yield is not so large, the nice smell of the rice can tell our success". Gong said he had completed the harvest and was going to promote the newly harvested rice to the market.
Of course, there are many unknown difficulties behind such success, for example, the suddenly disappear of ducks, the damage to the paddy by strong storm, the crazy growing of weed, etc.
"Eco-agriculture is really difficult. I have insisted for almost 4 years since I decided to give it a try. Although I haven't been able to keep balance of the investment and production yet, I will keep raising crops in ecological way to protect the environment. Thanks so much for World Vision's support”, Gong said firmly.
Hope Gong can always enjoy the delicious rice and wish one day his ecological rice and ducks can be on your table as well.