Organic Rice Farming with Golden Apple Snails, “Farmer Kimura Fushio”

Organic Rice Farming with Golden Apple Snails,
“Farmer Kimura Fushio”

From globetrotting to agriculture

Kimura is a farmer who produces rice by incorporating duck farming and pond snail farming. We visited Kimura and asked about natural farming.
Some years ago, Kimura went on a globetrotting journey around the world. He spent months traveling through South Asia and Africa. And in India where the caste system still prevails, he was shocked to see the gap between the lives of the wealthy who have everything done for them by maids, and the poor who only have a sheet of cloth to live with. But even in the poor houses with no electricity, people live by gathering around a fire and laughing with each other.
“Not having money doesn’t necessarily make you poor.” Kimura realized. He returned to Japan to live close to nature and take a shot at farming.
Japan has become wealthy, but what would happen if there was money or nothing to buy. There would be serious trouble. At first, he struggled with weeds growing vigorously. He lost to the power of the weeds and could not help using herbicides and artificial fertilizers. “If I keep this up, I would be the first to get sick.” Just as Kimura began feeling this way, he found out about duck farming and pond snail farming.

Farmland with Golden Apple Snails

Duck farming is a method in which ducks are released in the rice paddy at rice-planting season. The ducks eat weeds and pests. Their droppings become nutrition, and the ducks swimming in the paddy cultivates mud which helps the rice to grow.
On the other hand, pond snail farming is a method which takes advantage of the ecology of golden apple snails, a large kind of pond snails. The golden apple snails are pests which eat young, newly-planted rice plants. With this method, water is withdrawn from the rice paddy for about 20 days after planting. Since golden apple snails prefer young tender plants, they do not eat the 20-day old rice plants, but eat the younger weed that sprout after the rice plants.
Concerned with his own health, Kimura ultimately chose natural farming, but it is also preferable from the consumer’s point of view. His rice is certified as “100 percent Echo Yamaguchi” (agricultural products grown without chemical pesticides nor artificial fertilizers). Kimura’s rice is used for school lunches in Yamaguchi prefecture, and nourishes growing children.


Organic Rice Farming with Golden Apple Snails, “Farmer Kimura Fushio”