A Paddy Rice Success Story:
The Testimony of Mr. U Win Thein
Photos and Interview by Moe Naing Oo, Agriculturist, LWF Myanmar
My name is U Win Thein from Ma Yan village of Kan Su (East) village tract. I have cultivated paddy more than fifty years including the time I helped my parents on the farm. However, in that time, I can say that I was really not aware that there were more effective methods of rice cultivation ranging from land preparing to post harvesting. I had just heard about some methods from some Myanmar Agriculture Service staff, but never really got the details. Now the farmers who participated in demonstration plots and I have learned firsthand some improved methods of rice cultivation. We have learned along the way from every stage; from land preparing to harvesting time, through training and regular guidance. The training and guidance was provided by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Some farmers and I got some quality seeds of the Yadanartoe variety which we had never cultivated before. This variety was suitable for our area, was resistant to pests and diseases and could be cultivated in both the monsoon and summer seasons. I also learned an effective method of seed selection using salty water from System for Rice Intensification (SRI) training provided by LWF. To get the best seeds, we put all the paddy seeds into the proper mix of salt water and removed all the poor quality seeds which floated. It is amazing. We never knew about this simple method before but it can really increase the rate of germination.
The plants grown from the strongest and best seeds are healthier and have more resistance to pests and diseases. We saw the uniformity of plant height and growth rates at the expected stages and at harvest time we got a high yield.
I would like to say that we also learned other improved methods such as fertilizer application methods, compost making, how to maintain the soil of cultivated land, how to cultivate and produce quality seeds, and how to control and keep the quality of seeds, etc. Throughout the cultivation season we learned effective methods not only from trainings but also from regular guidance and exposure field trips to successful farmers.
But what really made me happy is that at the end of the season I got a yield of 119 baskets per acre. The average yield of previous years was 40 to 60 baskets, so getting a yield like 119 baskets per acre from a monsoon crop was really great.
We realized that applying the mixture of a little Urea fertilizer with natural compost is most effective and we can decrease our fertilizer inputs. Now it is harvesting time of the summer crop and I estimate that my yield will be over 130 baskets per acre. So I would like to say thank you to LWF for your assistance in showing us how to improve our rice yield through simple and inexpensive techniques. Thank you so much.