Agronomist finds a niche in introducing advanced farming method

The system of rice intensification (SRI) is now widely introduced into all farms across the country.

This advanced farming method, which is recognized as labour-, water- and resource-saving ones in the world, was introduced as required by domestic meteorological, weather and soil conditions thanks to Mun Myong Chol, section chief of the rice research institute of the Academy of Agricultural Science.

In the course of solving sci-tech problems to innovate farming methods as required by modern agricultural development trend after setting his foot on the research into paddy rice, he came to understand that the one-sidedness of grain production could be eliminated only when good species of seeds are combined with high-yielding cultivation.

To solve this problem, he buckled down to researching the SRI for a dozen years from the study of paddy rice cultivation.

The system is a cultivation method for intensifying the roots, stems, leaves and ears of rice paddies by controlling water to dry and wet the fields in turn after transplanting dozens of young rice seedlings per phyong in the dry field, or sparsely transplanting one seedling per plant.

The breeding expert was almost a stranger to the cultivation technology.

As he searched through hundreds of documents and repeated field tests, he solved various problems arising in the introduction of the SRI, especially rice seedling growing, rice-transplantation, water conservation, manuring fertilizers and weeding techniques.

On this basis, he selected the Chonsam Cooperative Farm in Anbyon County, Kangwon Province, as a trial application site for this species, though it had many more difficult points than other regions due to unfavourable natural weather conditions like serious cold-weather damage, strong wind and frequent rain, and gave demonstrations, short courses and presentations on several occasions.

This made it possible for farmers to turn out in the campaign for applying the new SRI little by little.

A farmer explained his experience gained in the course of introducing the SRI.

“The SRI helps save 20 times of more seeds, 30 times of more vinyl sheets and 20-50 percent of more water than the traditional method. This method has sharply reduced lots of manpower that was required for farming processes including the preparation and management of seedbeds and rice transplantation.”

The SRI is being introduced on an expansion basis into cooperative farms across the country including Pyongyang and North Phyongan Province, to say nothing of Kangwon Province, and it has made it possible to increase 1.5-2 tons of more paddy rice yield per hectare.

“I want to contribute to making our country perfectly realize self-sufficiency in food as soon as possible,” said Mun Myong Chol.