Saturday, February 21, 2009
"When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary," says FUKUOKA. He does not plow his fields, nor weed them by tillage or herbicides. He does not plant seeds in tidy rows but casts them randomly upon the ground. He uses no machines, no insecticides, and no chemical fertilizers or prepared compost; he strews his rice and barley fields with straw instead.
In FUKUOKA's rice and barley fields, sturdy grains share their habitat with white clover, insects, birds, and small animals. In his orchards, unpruned orange trees rise prolifically above a profusion of grasses, herbs, and vegetables. They all thrive together naturally.
FUKUOKA points out that his "do nothing" farming completely contradicts modern agricultural techniques. Yet his untidy farm yields grain and fruits just as abundantly as high-technology farms, often more so, and a rich mix of hearty vegetables besides. His method offers farmers extra leisure. It requires no expensive inputs. It creates no pollution. Moreover, it is profitable: FUKUOKA's chemical-free produce is highly prized by health-conscious consumers.
*A week ago, I posted abut P. Sainath, also a Magsaysay awardee.