Korean Natural Farming DIY agro-input – Fish Amino Acid (FAA)

Korean Natural Farming DIY agro-input – Fish Amino Acid (FAA)

This is p.131 and p.132 from the Cho Han Kyu’s Natural Farming Handbook.

1. What is FAA

Amino acids are nitrogen (N) part of the five elements of fertilizer. Fish amino acid is a liquid made from fish trash. It contains abundant amounts of nutrients and various types of amino acids. It is absorbed directly by the crops and it stimulates the activity of microorganisms. If you add urea you will have an even better effect.

2. How to make FAA

  1. Put fish trash (head, bones, intestines etc) into a clay pot or plastic jar. Blue black fish like mackerel, saury and gizzard shad are especially good.
  2. Add an equal amount of brown sugar.
  3. In about 2-3 days due to osmotic pressure the fish meat is liquefied and will complete fermentation in about 7-10 days. When you see fat floating on the solution add 2-3 handfuls of IMO3 (Indigenous Micro-Organism) and this will dissolve all the fat.
  4. Once it is ready extract and use the liquid.

[Ian:This is not unlike native Americans putting a dead fish into a hole then putting a plant on top of it.]

3. How to use FAA

FAA is normally used at the 1:1000 dilution. Being a nitrogen fertilizer, FAA (mixed with FPJ) will boost the growth of crops during the vegetative growth period when applied on both soil and leaf. Do not use during the reproductive period if you are worried about overgrowth. However, it can be used continuously with leafy vegetables.

Depending on the type of fish used the distinctive scent may function as an insect repellent. Collect the fat from that fish during the production process. Mix this fat with water and spray around the crops. Just spraying around the greenhouse can be effective. Herring produces the largest amount of fat. This fat has a very strong smell that repels insects. It is particularly effective against Mythimna Separala Walker. Mackerel FAA is effective against mites and white fly. Dilute and mist spray onto the leaves.

FAA will also promote the fermentation process of making IMO or mixed compost.

Once FAA is made the bones will be left over. Put Brown Rice Vinegar on the bones at a ration of 10:1 and the bones will be decompose and becomes high quality natural calcium phosphate. Many more uses can be found for this wonderful input.




    August 19, 2010 at 2:26 am


  2. Wolfgang Stuetzel said,

    November 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Very interesting and educational!
    Any data/experience in using Lactobacillus in the FAA fermenting process?
    Many thanks

    • November 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Wolfgang,

      Not as yet. We’re still at the drawing board stage for our Rooftop Ecology. With luck we’ll have one up and running early next year. Once we have that we’ll start experimenting with the KNF inputs.

      • eli said,

        July 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        Can you use other animal products (chicken, pork, cow, etc.) for this same process as a fertilizer/ pest repellent?

      • July 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

        Hi Eli,

        Pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to use anything but fish bones. However, I’m no expert.



  3. erwin said,

    December 21, 2010 at 2:26 am

    can mixed soybean, fish, molasses and water in equal amount when fermenting??

  4. Harish said,

    December 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Foliar application fish amino acid on cotton crop, for yield maximisation.

  5. Harish kumar said,

    January 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

    please, if any body knows about the use of fish amino acid on cotton crop as foliar application for cotton yield maximization.
    my email id is – blackishmagic@gmail.com or blackishmagic@rediffmail.com

  6. Ma. Aurora V. Mangapis said,

    May 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you so much for the information. The format is simple and brief, my high school students can use them for their investigatory projects..kudos!

  7. basanth said,

    May 18, 2011 at 4:17 am

    the info provided in this site is very helpful.can i know more info regarding this FAA preperation.please send me some info if your are having.

    • May 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Basanth,

      Sorry for the late reply. I am out there getting my hands dirty, or trying to. Obstacles for expats in Korea are considerable, let’s put it that way. What is it about FAA that you want to know?



      • April 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

        im producing faa by conventional brown sugar based fermentation..but when i used it for foliar application,i found scarthcing on the treated plants.please help me do get the better product

      • August 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

        Are you heavily diluting it with water before you use it? If not you will find it is way too strong for foliar application. You should use a drop in a bucket basically.

  8. almostperfect said,

    January 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Will it not smell stingy, and will there be nomicroorganisms crawling at the side of the container?

    • August 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      We’re talking about micro-organisms at the microscopic level, so no crawling. Cilia certainly. Hyphae growth as well in some cases, but no crawling. 🙂

  9. January 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm


  10. roselle said,

    November 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

    what is the ratio for FAA+FPJ+Urea?
    thanks in advance

  11. Raiza capitanea said,

    December 2, 2012 at 3:18 am

    when to apply FAA? it can be apply everyday? by the way i’m raisa

    • December 5, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Dr. Cho says that plants need different nutrients and different levels of nutrients at different points in their life cycle. If you look through my posts you will find the one that talks about when to apply x and y. Applying it every day is probably overkill however.

      • T. SARANRAJ said,

        June 19, 2013 at 5:29 am

        i am worked in FAA
        you send article and thesis

  12. Raisa Capitanea said,

    December 3, 2012 at 5:53 am

    It is okEY to use FAA everyday?

    • August 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Dr. Cho suggests following the nutritive cycle, which basically means plants require different diluted extracts at different stages in their life cycle.

  13. Raiza Capitanea said,

    December 9, 2012 at 3:35 am

    If my crop is carrot in what stage I will apply FAA, I need this in my thesis Dr. Cho.

  14. anjie ngaloy said,

    December 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    how can i store the extract from the fermentation without degrading its content?…i am conducting a thesis regarding fish amino acid given to poultry..thanx:)

    • August 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Storing the extract is a function of the vessel in which it is stored. Follow the instructions with each extract on the vessel to brew the extract in. You should keep it there and not move it.

  15. abhilash said,

    February 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

    very informative writing. thank you

  16. amos said,

    May 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

    i understand lacto bacilli comes from fermentation from rice washings…. what if people are not rice eater, do you have any alternative to rice, say, maize? thanks.

    • June 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Lacto-bacillus is one of the main ingredients in Kefir and other fermented foods. You also get it with cabbage water, which is how you make Sauerkraut. There is some information out there on this. If you go to Google and type in ‘culturing lactobacillus on maize’ you’ll find a body of work in this area with scholarly articles.

  17. jonah said,

    August 11, 2013 at 4:25 am

    hi’ good day sir’ I’m jonah from the Philippines’ first, thank you for this information’ I’m going to use FAA in my thesis and I’m looking review of related literature, can you give me some recommendation and related study about this? thank you sir in advance’ more power……..=)

    • August 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Jonah,

      Your first port of call should be the Development Academy of the Philippines, which has underwritten several field projects using these methods in your country. If you get no help there you should contact the Agriculture Department of the Asia Productivity Organisation in Tokyo.



  18. mark said,

    February 23, 2014 at 2:53 am

    sir im a agriculture student. i have a question where did FIsh amino acid started and when?

    • August 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Dear Mark,
      I don’t know precisely when it was first made, but I do know that it was first made by Dr. Cho, the founder of the Korean Natural Organisation, also known as Janong.

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