BANTUL – Muktohar, 47, looked cheerful when being announced as the winner of SRI (System of Rice Intensification) competition organised by Faculty of Agricultural Technology UGM in cooperation with Baznas. The man from Kwasen, Srimartani, Piyungan, Bantul regency, was given a goat as the prize.
Muktohar is one of 15 farmers from Srimartani village participating in the competition. The harvest he produced, totalling 9.04 tonnes per hectare, beat other farmers who produced only 7 tonnes per hectare. “It was the first time I used the SRI; it turned out to be easier to do,” said Muktohar on Wednesday (10/4).
Muktohar said he would continue using the SRI system. “Previously, I could have between 12-13 sacks of harvests, now it increased to 16,” he added.
The problem of weeds, however, is one block in the SRI planting which requires persistence and special attention. “Weeds could grow up easily,” he said.
Dean of Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Dr. Ir. Lilik Sutiarso, M. Eng., said technology model of rice planting efficient in water, fertiliser and seed had already been started two years ago. “The competition is just to trigger the farmers to implement the method,” he said.
Lilik said that the SRI system was able to increase crops by 4-5 tonnes every time. Previously, only 15 farmers were interested in it. “Now, 45 farmers have expressed an interest to participate,” he said. He admitted the difficulty in encouraging farmers to use such a system, because they are used to the conventional system with plenty of water. In 17 hamlets in Srimartani, 400 hectares of land are predicted to have the potential for SRI development.
Arifin Hartanto, Head of Land and Water Management from Agricultural Agency of Bantul, said that the SRI could increase food supply in Bantul.