Born in a small farming village on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan in 1914, Masanobu Fukuoka was trained in microbiology as a plant pathologist. His career began as an agriculture customs inspector running tests on incoming and outgoing plants at the port of Yokohama.
At twenty-five, he started to question what he had learned about modern agriculture science, and came to accept that all the accomplishments of human progress are insignificant before the totality of nature.
Fukuoka has learned how plants can grow naturally and vigorously with little or no human effort. For over fifty years he has achieved surplus yields of rice, barley, plums, citrus fruits and vegetables by means of natural farming. Fukuoka’s methods have also been used to green the deserts, with the use of seed balls.
The five major principles of Fukuoka’s farming methods are: no tillage, no fertiliser, no pesticides, no weeding, no pruning.