4Nature is a project initiated under ENACTUS UUM which aspires to improve the standard of living and quality of lives of farmers in Kedah and Perlis. This project aims to instill knowledge on the use of Organic Fertilizer and System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to targeted farmers.
The agricultural sector contributes approximately 12% of Malaysia’s GDP. However, the increase in use of chemical fertilizers by farmers have led to the destruction of soil quality which in turn affects the quality of crops. Seeing this problem, Enactus UUM has decided to take action. In this project, farmers are taught to produce their own Organic Fertilizer, which not only increases crop yield but also produces crops of higher quality.
Our Organic Fertilizer is also known as NPK Fertilizer as it consists of three important elements, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These three elements play an imperative role in plant growth and can be found in green leaves, plant shoots and dried/rotten fruits. For example, Nitrogen is needed during the seedling stage of a plant as it helps in the initial growing stage and development of green leaves. Phosphorus is needed during the flowering/fruiting stage of a plant as it helps in flower blooming and fruit bearing. Potassium is necessary for healthy development of plant stem and branches. Therefore, different ratios of the three elements will be applied during the various growth stages of a plant.
SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI)
Thee System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a methodology that aims to increase the yield of paddy. It is different from the conventional method of planting paddy which involves the use of heavy machinery and dispersing countless seeds across the paddy field. There are numerous documented studies that provide evidence that the SRI method has numerous benefits compared to the traditional method of planting paddy.
HOW IT’S DONE
1. Paddy field should be kept moist and not flooded with water at all times. This improves root growth and supports the growth of aerobic soil organisms.
2. Paddy seeds should be grown separately in a seedling tray.
3. Paddy seedlings should be transferred to paddy fields when two weeks old. This is to avoid damage to roots and minimize transplant shock. When transferring to paddy fields, the seedlings should be planted 15 centimeters apart to allow more growth for roots and leaves.
4. Weeding should be done from time to time to avoid competition for nutrients that may hinder paddy plant growth.
BENEFITS OF SRI
1. Increases yield of paddy from 50 to 100 percent.
2. Saves water usage by up to 50%.
3. Reduces number of seedlings used by up to 90%.
4. No machines are required for implementation of SRI.