12 NOVEMBER 2012 - 2:55 AM

Income Growth for Paddy Farmers Using SRI Technique

SUNGAI BESAR, 12 Nov: Paddy farmers who are using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) stated that their incomes had risen since using that method.

The SRI method is one of the projects under the Chief Minister Incorporated (MBI) with the Selangor Department of Agriculture which has had tremendous support from the Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to increase farmers income in the state.

The system which was introduced to farmers around Tanjong Karang, Sekinchan and Sungai Besar about three years ago is increasingly getting the attention of farmers because the system has proved to be capable of yielding better results compared to the conventional way at the moment.

According to farmer, Fadzlin Taslimin, 60, since using the SRI method for the last few seasons, paddy planting has become more fertile and that the use of unsafe chemical pesticides is no longer necessary.

He said, the cost now is only around RM1,600 compared to more than RM5, 000 previously.

“This season I expect the cost to be less than RM1, 000,” said Fadzlin during the launching ceremony of SRI Paddy Seeds at Tali Air 14 Simpang Lima here.

Mohd Subki, 40, said that his health has been improving as no longer needs to wallow around, using various chemical pesticides that are harmful to his health.

He said he is now able to get up to 10 tonnes compared to only 5 tons previously and expects these figures to improve further in the coming seasons.

Meanwhile, according to the Selangor SRI Paddy Advisor, Noorazimah Taharim who explained how the method works said, paddy farmers can conserve of up to 50 percent of water usage in the paddy fields, thus overcoming irrigation in the paddy fields during drought.

She said that with the SRI method, farmers can produce fertilizer and insect repellents which are easily and readily available around the village area.

Farmers can produce fertilizer from bamboo shoots, apple snails, pineapples, bael (labu kayu), water spinach (kangkung), amaranth leaves (bayam), banana hump, bananas, cocoa, coconut husk, coconut bud, eggshells and bones.

Meanwhile, to make the pesticides, farmers can use garlic, chilli, soursop leaves, ‘mambu’ leaves, galangal (lengkuas), ginger, lemongrass, bael fruit and tobacco.

He said, this method requires only about 5 kilograms per hectare including the seeds for sowing which will nearly 90 percent compared to the conventional method.

“The increase in revenue that can be attained is up to 11 tonnes per hectare and there are also reports that profits can reach up to 15 tonnes per hectare in Indonesia, India, China and Afghanistan through SRI methods that are becoming more common in countries around the world,” he said.