Written by the Web Team
Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija – A senior researcher based in Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea told Filipino researchers that organic farming helps in increasing the nation’s produce as the country advocates for healthier environment and better agricultural produce by 2015.
In an in-house seminar in the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Oct 11, Dr. Lee, Byung-Mo said rice yields produced through organic method were “very good” and that it effectively controlled weeds and improved soil’s health.
“We have high (rice) yield (even if we do organic) because we are able to supply the plant nutrients, meet fertilizer demands, and have excellent crop protection techniques,” Lee, a researcher in the RDA’s Department of Crop Life Safety of the National Academy of Agricultural Science, said.
Korea’s organic approach include the use of green manure and rice herbicide-free farming, which incorporates, plastic film mulching, and rice systems such as rice-snail, rice-duck, and rice-bran.
Among Korea’s alternative technologies, PhilRice scientists and experts expressed interest in adopting the rice-bran farming system should strategies be devised to cut down the technology cost. Estimates show that a farmer would shell out P25, 000 worth of bran to adequately fertilize a hectare.
In Korea, Lee said the bran is converted to powder-form or pellets and scattered into the paddies during the planting season to help prevent weed growth and boost nutrient content of the soil.
“About 2,500 k of rice bran is needed in a hectare. However, this rice bran alone cannot fully fertilize the soil so it must be coupled with other organic materials,” Lee explained.
With the effect of organic farming in Korea and the country’s implementation on sustainable agriculture programs, Dr. Lee, Sang Guei, center director for Korea’s scientific and technical cooperation project in the Philippines, encouraged knowledge sharing between countries.
Korea is assisting the Philippines on its goal to nail rice self-sufficiency by 2013 through the project, Korean Project for International Agriculture Center, being hosted at PhilRice’s Experimental Station in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
To be implemented until 2013, the center will host trainings on rice and rice-based cropping systems and farm mechanization for Filipino researchers, extension officers, and farmers. Korea will also send its experts and scientists to PhilRice while qualified Filipino rice workers will be trained in Korea.