Marilou B. Agaid
Rice farming and raising of ducks are important livelihood in the Philippines. Traditionally, rice and ducks are raised separately, but the opportunity has never been prompted because of the misconception that ducks are harmful to rice.
Rice-duck farming system has a potential for business opportunity to farmers. It pushes up organic farming and provides additional income from traditional farming. It mitigates the effect of climate change through zero synthetic inputs. The study was conducted and completed in 2016 at the Department of Agriculture – Northern Cagayan Experiment Station, located at Maquire, Lucban, Abulug, Cagayan. Two demonstration plots of rice with ducks and rice alone with a total area of 1,000 . Soil analysis was conducted before and after the study. NSIC Rc222 an inbred variety was used within the two cropping study period. Package of technology on rice production aside from nutrient and pest management were followed. Organic fertilizer and pesticides were employed in the rice + duck plots. Whereas, raising ducks followed good management practices like provision of housing and pond. One month old ducklings were released and allowed to graze in the rice field at 200 heads per hectare at 25 days after transplanting the rice crop. Ducks were kept in the field within 55 days or withdrawn from the field at flowering stage. Ducks weight increases to 0.9 kg/head kg after their maneuver in the field. Ducks decreased the population of golden apple snail by 95%. The ducks controlled weeds totally, at the same time improved structure of the soil. The population dynamics of harmful and beneficial organism did not affect the yield of rice. Only 2.92% pest damaged was observed. The yield of rice with ducks is 4.1 tons/ha which is comparable to the conventional practice at 4.0 tons/ha. Net profit in two cropping season is ₱231,820.00 per hectare with ducks compared with net profit of ₱78,640.00 with rice alone. The return per peso in rice-duck farming was 2.15 compared to 0.98 for the conventional method.
The study build-up community awareness that Muscovy ducks are beneficial in rice farming. Likewise, created business opportunity on production of Muscovy ducks and ducklings by farmers and hatchery owners.
Keywords: Rice-duck farming system, muscovy duck
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