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In Harmony with Nature: Ducks & Chillies Show us the Way 📽 What Ducks & Chillies have in Common📽

“It is clear that to the extent we recognise we are a part of the natural world - and not apart from it - it will be possible to restore the balance that keeps our little ‘blue marble’ habitable." (

There is an inseparable bond between man and nature, without nature we cannot exist. However, because of human’s thoughtless actions, the equilibrium in nature is being disturbed; the pulse of human life is becoming erratic, too. Air and water have become polluted. Rivers are drying up. Seasons arrive unseasonably. New diseases are spreading.

But there is hope, with collective effort we can turn things around.

Our first story is about a farmer in France, Bernard Poujol, who believes that ducks are the future for rice farms, but he hasn't quite perfected his technique.

He has dumped the pesticides in his rice fields and uses ducks instead. The technique is not perfect, but progress is being made. With more experience his accomplishments will eventually flourish.

This technique—known as integrated rice-duck farming—is not a new idea. Growing ducks and rice together in irrigated fields was documented in China some 600 years ago. Chinese farmers practised it for centuries until they were lured away by quick fixes like synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and chemical pesticides. But as the use of industrial technologies has posed a growing threat to the environment in recent years, some farmers have turned to ancient wisdom to feed the world’s hungry.

Our second story is about the Kakwenga family. They live in a small village in southwest Zambia, who use Chillies to protect their Maize fields as well as providing an effective barrier to prevent conflict with elephant herds. All it takes is one elephant rumbling through a field to destroy a family’s food supply for an entire year, so it’s no surprise that a farmer might turn to the only tool he has available—a spear. But a simple, elephant-repellent system gives farmers a low-tech way to scare these animals away from their crops without violence.

© 2018 World Wildlife Fund, summer 2016 - Stephan Mulanda (third from right), one of 12 game guards who help monitor wildlife at Wuparo Conservancy, shows a group of guards how to make chili bombs.

“Their home (the Kakwenga Family) lies in Sioma Ngwezi National Park—at the heart of KAZA, the world’s largest transfrontier conservation area. KAZA encompasses 109 million acres and crosses five African countries—Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The maize harvest is a crucial source of food for the Kakwenga family but erratic rains and raids by elephants make a good harvest problematic. WWF is working with villagers to help improve their harvests by using specific planting methods and drought resistant maize varieties. Farmers can’t guard their crops twenty-four hours a day so they have started using chilli bombs—a mixture of ingredients which give off a spicy, pungent smell that offends elephants’ sensitive trunks and drive them away from crops.” (

These are just two examples of how working with nature’s properties and processes, results can be achieved that safeguard human interests as well as limit the impact on our environment. Methods that don’t start off with the attitude that nature is something to be conquered are more likely to lead to sustainability. And it works!



BBC News, 2018 (viewed 05.05.2018)

WWF Stories, 2018 (viewed 05.05.2018)

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Enviroblog News
Enviroblog News
May 05, 2018

“It is clear that to the extent we recognise we are a part of the natural world - and not apart from it - it will be possible to restore the balance that keeps our little ‘blue marble’ habitable."

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