Effect of Integrated Rice-Duck Farming on Rice Yield, Farm Productivity, and Rice-Provisioning Ability of Farmers
The feasibility of the rice-duck system of rice production, practiced in some East Asian countries, is studied in Bangladesh as a sub-project of the Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance (PETRRA). The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) implements the sub-project in collaboration with two NGOs, FIVDB and BDS, in the northeastern (greater Sylhet) and southern (Barisal) regions of the country. Each demonstration trial, conducted in the field of the farmers, is treated as a replication. In these trials, the rice-duck system is compared with the methods of growing rice solely, as traditionally practiced by the farmers in Bangladesh. Evaluation of the activities carried out under the PETRRA sub-project shows that the rice-duck system is not only feasible, but also economically rewarding for the farmers. The yield of rice is, on average, 20% higher in the rice-duck system than the traditional rice system (sole rice), thereby ensuring about 50% higher net return and rice-provisioning ability. The ducks in the rice-duck fields control weeds and insects very effectively; as a consequence, labor and pesticide costs for controlling weeds and insects are minimized and the soil health is improved. The ducks provide another source of added income for the farmers. In view of the favorable results obtained in the study, it might be suggested that the rice-duck system be spread throughout the country as an income-generating activity for the resource-poor farmers.
- December 2005