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Support local farmers with SRI practices

In June 05-06, 2017, SRD and relating government departments in Thai Nguyen Province organized two field-based training sessions on SRI practices for the spring's cropping season of 2017 at Na Pang village of On Luong commune and Ngoi village of Dong Dat commune, Phu Luong district.

This is one activity among a series of interventions promoting for the application of eco-agriculture in the one km pesticides free buffer zone around schools which SRD and PAN-AP have implemented under the project "Towards a Non-toxic environment in South East Asia".

This training was conducted following the method of Farmer Field School (FFS) and maintained during the period of growth of the rice from the time of rice sowing to harvesting. 50 participants were selected from key farmers of 02 project sites with the direct support of technical facilitators, in which, the farmers had opportunity to observe the differences between traditional and SRI methods when applying into two different rice paddies as samples for demonstration. As such, the farmers can see by themselves the benefits of applying SRI into the farming, such as: reduce seeds for the paddy fields, reduce the use of chemicals, thus growing healthier food, improving soil quality, and protecting farm biodiversity

"After a period of time piloting SRD approach in my rice field, my family members and I can see a big difference with positive results. No more diseases, higher quality rice seeds after harvest on my SRI-rice paddies while the samples with traditional method suffered from sheath blight and some other diseases. More importantly, no more pesticides are used in my rice paddies from early of the season till the harvest time", shared Mr Vi Van Thai, a local farmer at Ngoi village.

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"What I like best is the huge reduction of labor spending on the field, especially for rice plantation. Since most of the youth are now working in the cities, my husband and I are too old to be able to manage the farming work; therefore, SRI is definitely a good solution for us. I am happy to see the better productivity of SRI practices when comparison with traditional methods, which the local farmers have been applying for a long time till now", said Mrs. Phan Thi Nhan, an elderly farmer at Ngoi village.

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With positive outcomes from the training sessions, all participants agreed to develop a specific plans in order to timely apply right in this rice crop and for the crops of next year. A rice paddy's sample applying SRI for demonstration will also be prepared for the whole community's observation.

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