International Nature Farming Research Center (INFRC)
Nature Farming (Kyusei Nature Farming)
Founder of Nature Farming
The green fields, emerald oceans, desolate deserts are all inhabited with abundant life. Over a period exceeding 4.6 billion years, the earth has undergone through numerous changes, creations and destructions - giving birth to the waters, the atmosphere, and lands full of life. Supported by the functions inherent in nature, this process of evolution has produced various life forms, which have reproduced themselves through balanced ecological cycles of energy and substances. Nature has been designed in such a way that it purifies everything and produces rich biota and biomass. Different plant colonies grow in forests, on plains, and by lakes and marshes in a balanced state, and maintain productivity without being seriously affected by diseases and insects.On the other hand, it also facilitates human manipulation. For example, a forest could be manipulated to produce greater biomass over many years than in its natural state through appropriate and careful forest management, such as thinning and planting. Nature has such a capacity.
The principles of Nature Farming utilizes and adopts crop production to conform to these dynamic and balanced production systems in nature, which are a result of the interactions of sunlight, water, soil, animals, plants, and microorganisms in natural ecosystems.
How does one comprehend these balanced production systems in nature? We have a habit of recognizing and understanding things based on our past experiences and knowledge. This habit, however, often leads us to understand things superficially, without perceiving their essence. Humans have for a long time, tended to depend too much on knowledge of modern science and to understand processes in simplified forms. This attitude of ours, however, has produced various environmental and social problems. The life forms on earth have a history of over 3.5 billion years, and the knowledge has been accumulated in nature over this period. It is thus hardly possible for us to understand everything in nature based on our knowledge of modern science, which has only accumulated over the past several hundred years. On the other hand, it is also true that we human beings are equipped with an instinct for perceiving nature, which we have inherited from our ancestors through innumerable generations. Thus, we should be able to perceive laws of nature if we face it without any preconception and with tranquility in mind and respect to nature. Observing nature is the method of facing nature in this manner. We should learn laws of nature and combine them with scientific knowledge to develop and establish the cultivation technologies of Nature Farming.
How adequately do we observe nature? The late Yukio Tsuyuki, the leader of Shizen Noho Fukyukai, the organization before INFRC, often asked participants of his seminars on Nature Farming to draw a picture of a rice plant from memory. None, not even experienced farmers and researchers, drew a picture of rice plants correctly from the roots to the spikes. This indicates how poorly even farming specialists observed rice plants and the lack of their capacity to observe the characteristics that appeared in leaves, stalks and roots of plants.
A mother cares for her child with deep love and careful observation. This is why she can sense the condition of the baby even from a subtle change in the babyfs facial expression and way of crying. A good mother realizes if the baby is hungry, wants to have the diaper changed, or feels cold.
In the same manner, it is very important to observe nature without being too confident of our knowledge but with a modest, clear and pure state of mind. In addition, growing good crops requires the development of affection to the crops. Only with such love, a farmer can realize the requirements of soil and for crops to grow healthily, and hence carry out necessary management practices. Agricultural production is a vocation and should be an act of seeking a truly balanced health of all kinds of life forms, including humans as well as the soil, the crops, and the livestock.
One should remember that nature maintains all living things on earth, including producers and consumers. Nature is at times severe and at times gentle and comforting. On a long time scale, however, it continues to provide abundant benefits. If the sun stops shining, all beings on earth cannot live even for a day. Water, which is essential for life exists in a form of liquid at ordinary temperatures on earth, which is impossible on other planets. The soil exists as it is only on earth and supports production and circulation of different substances. Furthermore, although volcanic activities and floods are hazardous, they are a part of everlasting activities of nature, which renew land and create fertile soils. There exist in nature more than 30 million species of life forms, from microorganisms to large animals, each of them playing its own role. They all depend on each other to establish nature. Human beings, who are placed at the top of all the living things, are probably the ones that benefit most from nature.
Mokichi Okada, the founder of Nature Farming, once wrote a waka poem:
Hoeing the soil
I am soaked with sweat
It washes my fatigue away
How refreshing are
Winds blowing through green leaves
He expressed in this poem his gratitude to nature for joy of being part of nature and farming. Farmers should keep in mind that we can maintain our activities as a result of being part of nature and receiving benefits from it.
Farmers are professionals of agricultural production, and have a large responsibility for supporting consumers' lives. It is a serious issue whether our products contribute to maintaining or endangering consumers' lives. Farmers play a very important role in maintaining mankind.
Products of Nature Farming, which are safe and full of vitality, have saved various people suffering from diseases, such as children having atopic dermatitis and adult cancer patients. Nature Farming can achieve these. It is a farming method that shows the fundamental way of living to human beings. In this new century, all are now required to learn from nature, to be grateful for being allowed to live in nature, and to do all the things with love.
Nature Farming has the key to maintaining the true sustainable prosperity of mankind.
INFRC believes that Nature Farming is a method of producing food for the future which can satisfy the five requirements given below. This is based on the basic principles of Nature Farming, which are "Respect Nature and Conform to Its Laws" and "Allow the Living Soil to Exhibit Its Great Potential Abilities." In addition, the technology of Effective Microorganisms (EM) currently promoted as a vital component technology in Nature Farming was introduced in the mid 1980s.
The five basic principles of Nature Farming are as follows:
To establish this farming method, INFRC is conducting research and developing various technologies as well as spreading the developed technologies worldwide.
- To produce foods which can sustain and promote human health.
- To be beneficial economically and mentally to both the producers and consumers.
- To be practicable by anyone, with durability.
- To be responsible for an environmental integrity, paying respect to nature.
- To be responsible for the production and supply of provisions in such a manner to meet the growth of population.
We use the term gKyusei Nature Farmingh abroad, where the word Kyusei means "saving the world" in order to distinguish it from other natural farming systems.
References of Nature Farming