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Detour Japan

Detour Japan | Organic Farming |
Detour Japan is Focusing on selected local issues that can be shared globally.



akao Furuno, a spirited farmer who was influenced by Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," wanted to make his Kyushu farm all-organic about 25 years ago and since then he has mainly produced quality organic rice. In 2001, he was chosen as one of the 40 outstanding social entrepreneurs in the world by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Schwab Foundation holds the World Economic Forum, also called the Davos conference, which was founded in 1971 and is a global partnership of business, political, intellectual, and other civic leaders that defines and discusses key issues on the world's economic agenda. According to the foundation, social entrepreneurship is a term that captures a unique approach to social problems, an approach that cuts across sectors and disciplines.

Furuno's unique and award-wining approach to social problems is to simply release ducks into rice paddies. With this simple method, he has achieved a higher rice yield with much less labor and financial outlay, while at the same time maintaining environmentally sustainable agriculture. He has perfected and spread this technique since 1988, and today over 75,000 small rice farmers throughout Asia have taken up his method. Rice yields from farmers using Furuno's method are almost twice those of conventional plots in the same area.

Releasing ducks in rice paddies is not a new theory. A journal that was published one thousand years ago in China advocates the use of ducks in rice paddies. Many Japanese farmers released ducks into their paddies in the 1940s, since they had no agricultural machinery at the time. However, the ducks have gradually been phased out as agriculture became increasingly mechanized and reliant on the use of pesticides, thus isolating rice paddies from their natural surroundings. In fact, the "good old Asian environment" where people lived with nature, including trees, rivers, ponds, swamps, and rice paddies, disappeared in the process of Japan's radical industrialization in the 1950s and 1960s. The environment was also good for ducks.

Furuno turned to ducks simply because he decided he no longer wanted to weed his paddies. At the time, he had already been an organic farmer for 10 years. Organic farming is time-consuming work, and he had to work in the paddies from dawn to dusk every day. Weeding, in particular, required long hours. Wondering whether or not organic farming was worth the trouble, he was advised to try ducks.

In order to confirm the effectiveness of the duck method, he and some associates carried out a comparative study with two paddies--one with ducks and the other without ducks. The results of the study clearly indicated that the paddy with ducks provided several advantages in terms of rice production.

The first advantage is that the ducks eat weeds, which means weeds do not need to be removed by hand. The ducks also eat insects, and the ducks' droppings provide nourishment for the growing rice. The fourth advantage is that the ducks, while moving among the plants, are constantly paddling the water and thus prevent too much settling, such as sediments, at the bottom of the paddies. The ducks also eat golden snails, which are a serious threat to rice. And the final advantage is that ducks provide an acceptable level of stress so that the plants can grow stronger and healthier. For ducks, rice paddies are excellent environments because they provide both water and food as well as a hiding place from predators.

A report on Furuno's study was published in a well-known academic journal in Japan and helped promote his theory with an NGO called the Japan Aigamo Duck Association. Later, through experimentation, he discovered that the addition of certain fish (loaches) and a nitrogen-fixing weed (azolla) to paddies boosted rice and duck growth.



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Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow

Sanatana Pages: Organic farming and the centrality of the cow | Organic Farming |

Subhash Palekar Raises Agriculture to Spiritual Levels

For over sixty years, Indian agriculture was in a slumber. Our lands were scandalized by an unknown thing called as synthetic fertlizer. This was done to help the farmer get a 'better' harvest.

As the farmer started using it, he immediately noticed that, his soil had become infertile and could no longer bear crops for the next season. He was advised to add more and more fertilizer to the soil to compensate for the nutrient loss. Soon he was faced with another threat. The plants that grew with fertilizer needed pesticides. Soon, he started using these pesticides, which are deadly poisons. He noticed that the pests had become resistant to these chemicals as time went by. He was puzzled.

Our farmer forgot the ancient lesson that the soil HAD LIFE. He forgot that there were natural laws that governed the soil which his ancestors had obeyed from time immemorial. By thus obeying the laws , they had taken bumper harvests and had kept the land well cared for and transferred the land intact for posterity.

Subhash Palekar

It was at this time that a great mind set out to work in this field. He himself was a graduate of Agricultural science from a 'modern university'. He set out to work in his field using the British devised ways of Fertlisers and Pesticides and became an utter failure. He also ruined his land.

Then he set out to research on how our ancestors did so well in Agriculture without any of these chemicals. He consulted the Vedas, and the ancient wisdom literature. The result is a revolutionary, path breaking method, which Sri Subhash calls as 'Zero Budget Natural Farming'. Sri Subhash tried his method in his own soil and replicated it in various other fields tasting success every time.

An inspired Sri Subhash set out to teach this method to his countrymen. He has so far conducted not less than 1000 workshops, all heavily attended, to spread this new way of life for farmers.

The fundamental concept in Sri Subhash's work is that
1. Soil does not need nutrients to be added.
2. The soil has micro organisms which GENERATE NUTRIENTS for the soil.
3. It is possible to revive a fertliser damaged soil back to the natural ways.
4. That the new method require no money to do Agriculture.

Fascinating, is it not ? Read on for some more.

Sri Subhash says the pivot of 'Zero Budget Natural Farming' is the desi cow. He says that the desi cow's Urine, Cow dung and Milk have all the qualities required to rejuvenate the soil. Just ONE desi cow, says Sri Subhash, is all that is required to maintain a 30 acre Farm. He laments that the Desi- Jersi hybrid cows are of no use in his scheme of things.

What a sad thing ? The desi (country) cow is now has such a dwindling population that we need to revive them on a war footing. I wondered why the hybrid Jersi cow is unfit. A publication of 'Govardan', a voluntary organisation for Cow protection, says that the high yield Jersi was produced by crossing a wild pig and an Australian cow breed !

Sri Subhash has some formulas to revive the soil. One is 'Jeevamrutam'. This is not a replacement for Fertlizer , he says. Jeevamrutam is only a catalyst for the soil to generate its nutrients. He says that the 'organic manure','earthworm manure' are fads and are another recipe for disaster.

Sri Subhash condemns the university taught concept of burning the leftover plants after harvest. He says that these are to be left over in the soil itself by turning them over into the soil. This process of 'Mulching' helps the soil prepare its own manure.

And what about pests ? Subhash maintains that a naturally grown plant fights pests. But the plants in transit in chemical ravaged field can be protected by simply prepared 'natural pesticides' which arwe usually buttermilk, pepper and such simple combinations.

The Government Sponsored Chemical Mafia

A govermental survey states that the fertliser subsidy alone was abot Rs 13,000.00 crores in the year 2000. Add to this the pesticide subsidy and the farmer's burden. A report says that the pesticide business in India is the fourth largest in the world! Imagine what would have happened if the money is spent on raising desi cows, strengthening ponds and lakes, and protecting the village fiorests !

There are some criminal agricultural scientists who sit and lord over every governmental commission on Agriculture. These are the very people who are in hand in glove with the synthetic mafia and have been the cause of so much decline in production. Sri Subhash has alleged that our country imports foodgrains of about 5 million tonnes every year. This fact is not known to many Indians. The governments cheats here also.

Recently, a central minister went on record stating that poor Indians are eating more and this is causing problems. It is no wonder with such people at the helm, our Agriculture remains without policy.

Osk Reddy's curator insight, August 24, 2014 1:00 AM

We wish to bring to your notice that the "Green Universe Environmental Services Society (GUESS)" head-quartered at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India was established in 1998. Since then we have been promoting various eco friendly concepts, pro-environmental initiatives and sustainable development projects. With our vast field-level practical experiences we have observed and noticed that the farmers of our country are facing severe crop loss issues due to wild boar & wild animal attacks, frequent natural calamities, global warming effects, non availability of labour, cost escalation and climate change issues. It is known fact that many of the wild animals have shifted their habitations from the forests to farm fields due to man-made mistakes such as severe deforestation and high level destruction in the forest areas. 


Due to the above situations the farmers who make 70% of the Indian community are leaving agriculture and migrating to the urban habitations in search of livelihoods resulting in many of the villages are becoming deserts and the population pressure is at high level in urban areas which is causing various social & economic issues. It is fact that the most of the countries are shifting towards naturals in all walks of life and the demand for natural products is ever increasing and it is time to throw light on promotion of different eco-friendly sustainable farming measures & concepts to the struggling farmer community.


Keeping in view the alarming situation faced by the farming community due to wild boar & animal attacks which is great concern to the society today we have come up with an eco-friendly, cost-effective sustainable solution of "Henna Bio Fence." It is non-grazing & pest-free because it is astringent & pungent in nature which can be an effective NPM measure, sustains for longer period hence it is perennial, drought tolerant because it can pass through severe climatic situations, creates additional man days through raising & post harvest measures and also generates income because the demand for natural dyes is ever increasing. Hence "Henna Bio Fence" can be an eco-friendly cost-effective sustainable solution in place of highly expensive solar, chain linked mesh & barbed wire fences and can act as income & employment generating measure.


Natural dyes are pro-environment and obtained from renewable resources with no health hazards are traditionally used since ages to impart color. There is renewed interest in the application of natural dyes throughout the world today, as eco-friendly norms become stringent and the awareness about protection and preservation of environment grows day by day. The entire world is facing the side effects of synthetic products and there has been increasing interest in natural dyes, as the public become aware of health issues, ecological and environmental problems related to the use of synthetic dyes. Henna as natural dye is being used in Textiles, Handlooms, Leather, Beauty & Health Care, Cosmetics and Tattoo Industries etc. 


Considering the above facts, concerns and in light of the multi beneficial advantages, as responsible NGO we have initiated this "Henna Bio Fence" project to help the struggling farmers. We request for financial collaboration to impart trainings, to create awareness, to transform the concept and to provide input cost to encourage an eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective "Henna Bio Fence" to the farmers to protect the crops from wild boar & animal attacks and to improve their income levels. In addition to the crop protection measure there is lot of scope for employment generation through value addition and marketing. 


Henna Bio Fence is also useful as NPM, NTFP, SMC & NRM measures. The Decoction of henna leaves because of its strong chemical composition can be used as Bio Pesticide for all the crops which reduces the pest management expenditure for a longer period. It also controls the cross pollination (Isolation) issues between different crops. Henna Bio Fence in one meter width all along the periphery of the crop fields in multiple (6-9) rows with close spacing will become as thick & strong fence which completely arrests the wild boar and animal attacks. Reducing crop loss itself is great benefit to the farmers and as well to the nation and also there are many social & economic advantages in addition to the crop protection measure. 


Keeping in view the above facts, we request the International Organizations who are very much concern about environment & global warming effects for financial contributions from Carbon Trade Funds, Environment Protection Funds, Ecological Balancing Funds, Global Warming Budgets, CSR & CER initiatives to provide them an eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective "Henna Bio Fence" for their farm fields to protect the crops from animal attacks and to improve the income levels of the farming community. Hence, we request your kind attention towards a noble cause of "Vruksho Rakshathi Rakshithaha" by providing them the input cost from different possible funds & measures to help the struggling farmers who are feeding our Nation. The detailed project report will be submitted after hearing from you. We await quick response in this regard to make this pro-environmental project successful. We are hereby providing the YouTube link of promo film on Henna Bio Fence for information.


Henna Bio Fence Video Link:


GUESS - Henna Bio Fence - English  :


GUESS - Henna Bio Fence - Telugu  :


Thanking You



Best Regards




Ph. No. 919494947894 / 919848028410 /

Web Site:



Eric Larson's curator insight, March 27, 2015 1:18 PM

Interesting questions!!!

Brandon Chesney's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:25 AM

This farmer in India had been using synthetic fertilizer to grow his crops. Because he used this he noticed that the soil became Infertile and he couldn't grow new crops for the next season. Since he could not grow anymore crops he started using more and more fertilizers which in turn led to having to use Pesticides. He had forgot the whole kind of law set in place about how the soil has life and was better than any other fertilizers or pesticides.

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Inside The Vertical Farm Growing What It Calls "The World's First Post-Organic" Produce

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400 Million Acres Of Farmland Could Disappear—Unless This Woman Gets Her Way

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The Farmer of Gujarat, Badhada

Such was the greatness of traditional farming

"The Farmer of Gujarat" Pragajibhai Mangukiya Village: Badhada Taluko: Savarkundala District: Amreli State: Gujarat Country: India

Eric Larson's curator insight, January 27, 11:25 AM
Farming in India.
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Volunteers salvage the crops supermarkets refuse

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Farmer Joe Rolfe is standing in a field of perfectly edible but unsaleable sprouts. Mr Rolfe, manager at an organic farm near King's Lynn, Norfolk, says the losses will run into "thousands and thousands" for the 10 acres of sprouts – about 120,000 sprout trees – because they have "some pests in them". The 27-year-old has been eating them himself all week as they only need to be washed by hand, but "we can't sell them to the supermarkets because of the way they look with pest damage".
Eric Larson's curator insight, January 27, 11:27 AM
Salvage refuse?
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Practical Answers | Practical Action

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The FINANCIAL, Business News & Multimedia, Global brands, Investments and Personal Finance. Regional focus: United States, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, EU
Eric Larson's curator insight, January 27, 11:31 AM
Olde ideas of value?
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10 tools for farming in dry climates - E4C

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Farmers in dry climates manage to coax crops from sandy soil and water them with rain and even fog. These are 10 tools that enable farming in dry climates.
Eric Larson's curator insight, May 4, 2016 2:00 PM
Farming in dry climates?
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How agriculture saved a former US soldier

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'I found my humanity when I gave up the conveniences of modern life. I see people who have nothing in terms of material yet they are the happiest people,' says Patrick Taylor about the farmers of Mindanao
Eric Larson's curator insight, December 28, 2015 5:22 PM

Is the plain life what we should seek?

Emily Ford's curator insight, January 10, 10:55 PM

This is a good connection to the topic of agriculture because it talks about how agriculture inspired a man to make a big impact on people's lives. He wanted to see what he could do with agriculture to help people to have a better life. My opinion on this topic is that it could be a good thing and that it gives people better opportunities. I believe that agriculture is good for the world and the people in it.

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Halting Nutrient Runoff While Perfecting Fertility

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Rob Stout’s philosophy to farming is, “If you’re not trying to learn or do better, you’re falling behind in this day and age.”
Eric Larson's curator insight, December 23, 2015 5:38 PM

Interesting idea???

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BICITRACTOR B300 (POC21 Version, wait for the next Version in february if you want to build one)

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Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield?

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The benefits of city-based agriculture go far beyond nutrition.

Via Japan Aquaponics
Eben Lenderking's curator insight, February 28, 6:11 PM

Fascinating and wonderful

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Tree People L.A - Kiss The Ground Stories

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Charcoal at Pebble Garden - Part 2/3 - Bernard's Charcoal Kiln

 This is a 3 part series. I was not able to load the first part. View this and in all probabalitiy you will get the links for part 1 & 3.

Bernard Declercq demonstrates the process of creating charcoal with an Iwasaki charcoal kiln. Part 1, Charcoal for Depleted Soils

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A Fight Over Soil Causes Deep Rift In Organic Industry

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What can you do with a home DNA machine? One unexpected answer: grow better truffles

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Personal DNA testing machines are bringing lab-grade genetic science within reach. One farmer is using DNA testing to cultivate truffles
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Biological Permaculture Part 1 | Permaculture Magazine

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Drones over the Caribbean

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13 Proven Techniques to grow better indoor basil in less time

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RT @basil_grower: 13 proven techniques to grow better #basil in less time


#gardening #urbanfarming #food https:…
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Engineering For Change - By Engineers, For Everyone

Engineering for Change provides a forum to connect, collaborate, solve challenges and share knowledge among a growing community of engineers, technologists, social scientists, NGOs, local governments and community advocates, who are dedicated to improving the quality of life all over the world.
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Lots of useful information.

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Best Organic Coffee Brands: Top Ten Reviews

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Want quality coffee? Try these organic coffee beans, you won't regret it!. We review the top ten organic coffee beans. Taste them all and choose your favorite!
Eric Larson's curator insight, July 10, 2016 7:49 AM
Organic coffee?
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African Farmers Are Setting Up Rows Of Beehives By Their Land, But It's Not Because They Want Honey

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Great things happen when you harness the power of nature.
carol b's curator insight, February 16, 2016 4:35 AM


Eric Larson's curator insight, May 4, 2016 1:59 PM
Rows of bee hives?
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Documentary Highlights Permaculture Principles

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This documentary shows how permaculture harnesses nature's synergistic relationships to create efficient, self-supporting ecosystems.
Eric Larson's curator insight, November 29, 2015 7:11 PM

Efficient, self-supporting, ecosystem?

Eben Lenderking's curator insight, November 30, 2015 5:04 AM
A great way to farm
carol b's curator insight, February 16, 2016 4:37 AM

I'm going to have a garden one day... Perhaps a farm... Getting ready!

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The Secret To Huge Potato Harvests

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1. A potato tuber is a much enlarged and modified stem. In this illustration, the stem end is at the bottom. The eyes are really buds, each fed by a vein or feeder fiber that runs to the stem end of the tuber, indicated by the blue lines in the illustration. That is the way the tuber develops as it grows. If this feeder fiber is undisturbed in cutting, the new plant that develops from the sprouting eye will develop and feed through the same fiber.
Eric Larson's curator insight, May 4, 2016 2:03 PM
Huge potato harvest?