Location : Kampung Long Langai, Ba’kelalan, Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Bakelalan practices a very traditional way of planting wet paddy but things will change very soon. A new system of planting was recently introduced in July 2019 called ‘System of Rice Intensification’ or ‘SRI’.organic rice, paddy planting, Interior village, Long Langai, Borneo, Highlands, Lun Bawang, native, dayak, Orang Ulu, Tourism, travel guide, 砂拉越水稻种植, 巴卡拉兰有机大米 SRI, paddy planting, paddy fields, traditional, Interior village, Long Langai, Malaysia, Borneo, Highlands, native, Tourism, travel guide, Lun Bawang, 马来西亚有机大米, 砂拉越水稻种植

We were fortunate indeed to be there when the introduction course was conducted for the farmers. So we learned the new system together with all the farmers who were invited to attend this course which was held hands on in the open field. The new system promised them double the yield.

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WWF trainer

Our host Mr Matius was picked to be the pioneer of this trial here in Bakelalan. Mr and Mrs Matius had been very busy the last couple of days preparing a plot of their land for the launching.

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Mr. Matius and wife preparing the field for a new experimental way of planting paddy
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Removing the old remaining roots from the last cropping

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So we all stood on the bund watching the cross racking to mark the spacing for the seedlings which was about a foot apart.organic rice, paddy fields, traditional, backpackers, destination, Interior village, Long Langai, Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo, Maligan Highlands, Lun Bawang, native, Tourist attraction, travel guide, organic rice, backpackers, destination, Interior village, Long Langai, Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo, Maligan Highlands, native, Orang Ulu, Tourist attraction, 马来西亚旅游景点, 巴卡拉兰原住民, 砂拉越内陆高原 organic rice, paddy fields, traditional, authentic, backpackers, Long Langai, Malaysia, Lun Bawang, native, Orang Ulu, Tourism, tourist attraction, 婆罗洲原住民部落, 巴卡拉兰水稻种植, 砂拉越内陆高原

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Step 1 Racking for spacing

After that was done, the ladies were distributed the seedlings for the sowing.

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The Sifu goes to work

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These 2 techniques were to enhance the seedlings to grow more branches. More sprouts meant better yield according to the trainer. Organic fertilizer would also be used to boost growth.

The final point was to dig a small drain surrounding the field to bait pests like snails with chopped vegetables, These snails collected can be cooked as food.

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Mrs Matius shows how paddy snails are eaten. Crack the pointed end of the shell with the teeth first and then suck at the other end.. Very interesting

To summarized what we learned that day:-

  1. Spacing of seedlings 1ft or 25cm (traditional ones are too close)
  2. Seedlings’ sowing depth must be minimal
  3. 10 days after sowing, the seedlings were sprayed with organic fertilizer
  4. De-weeding phase started 20 days later
  5. Next will be control water draining/flooding to a minimum height.
  6. De-weeding, draining and flooding cycles must be carried out several times
  7. Flooding height must be minimal
  8. To surround field with a shallow drain to trap snails with chopped vegetables

We are opened to corrections! Thank you.

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The passive observer but a good student!

The trainer further mentioned that this SRI technique had been successfully tried in Kedah. We should know very soon if indeed the yield has doubled. Hopefully, Bakelalan will be the icebreaker for the organic rice industry in Sarawak. All the best.

After the class was over, we proceeded to one of the houses for a lunch gathering. This gave us the chance to meet both the training team and the farmers who were mostly ladies. A special kind of Lun Bawang porridge was served. Yummy. Next…..Bye Bye Bakelalan Hello Bario, finally after 4 days

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Special Lun Bawang porridge for all participants

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