SRI practice can reduce the amount of water used for irrigation and promote less reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Sikong, the farmer, planted his field with padi Sarawak and padi Sibor transplanting young, single seedlings, spacing them widely in a grid pattern. Native grass, Eupatorium odoratum, locally known as Rumput Malaysia and Lantana leaves were used as organic insecticides against the pest lice known as kutu beruang.

Organic Rice Farming

The Need

The present system of growing rice in Ulu Kiulu is using a non-sustainable method of production. This requires large amounts of chemical input that will contribute to water quality degradation of Kiulu rivers, popularly known amongst tourists and locals. Additionally, the foreign substance accumulation can cause other environmental problems in the years to come.

Our Involvement

In 2016, a pilot project for rice cultivation using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method was introduced on a piece of land measuring less than one acre owned by Sikong Morigo, a local villager from Kg. Dumpiring. The project consultation began with Allan Zinkler, in-house expert from Australia with over a decade of experience in the SRI method of farming. BEST Society invested in new equipment such grass cutter, tiller, hand sprayer and blender and sponsored the trip to Tambatuon, Kota Belud for peer learning with the rice farming community there.

The Impact

SRI practice can reduce the amount of water used for irrigation and promote less reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Sikong, the farmer, planted his field with padi Sarawak and padi Sibor transplanting young, single seedlings, spacing them widely in a grid pattern. Native grass, Eupatorium odoratum, locally known as Rumput Malaysia and Lantana leaves were used as organic insecticides against the pest lice known as kutu beruang.

SOS Organic Fertilizers were used and this improves the overall integrity of the environment. Subsequently, rice paddy was seen to be growing well with 15 to 30 tillers per plant.  The plants were observed to be growing in a fan formation to maximize exposure to sunlight, which is not normally possible with traditional planting of putting a bunch of seeds together. Additionally, the rice paddy looked very resistant to pest attack. Although the SRI method has not yet been fully adopted due to lack of familiarity and experience, the rice paddy has displayed strong stems supporting panicle.

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