Day 1 - Kyusei Nature Farming Centre, Saraburi
Saraburi Centre is a model farm of Nature Farming advocated by Mokichi Okada. Saraburi Centre has conducted Nature Farming since 1988 without any agrochemicals and by applying EM Technology.
Presentation of NF at the Saraburi Centre
- Nature Farming is a farming method for producing healthy quality crops abundantly by allowing the soil to exert its power to the maximum without using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
- This location was specifically chosen in Thailand as it was a very poor, clay dominant soil.
- They achieve this through a heavy use of green manure crops, planting companion plants, focusing on diversity and beneficial insects and the use of EM. They grow crops in Saraburi that cannot be grown in this region of Thailand including Onions and Mangoes.
- Following these Nature Farming philosophies and the heavy use of EM, they have been able to build a huge amount of top soil over the past 30 years.
A tour to different units [e.g. Vegetable field, Rice paddy, Integrated model plot (self-sufficient economy), EM Bokashi production, Kitchen garbage compost, Animal husbandry, Fish pond and Mushroom.
- Amazing soils growing greens – these soils started from the poorest in the region 30 years ago to now having 40cm of friable, highly active topsoil. This was primarily developed using EM, Bokashi and a range of green manures and companion plants.
- Rice paddy fields are capable of producing 3 crops a year which is uncommon for these areas. This is because the water holding capacity of these soils is much better than the surrounding farmland.
- Animal Husbandry – Chickens and pig areas very clean with limited smell in highly concentrated areas. Animals looking very clean, they are fed EM and bokashi and EM is sprayed throughout housing units.
- Fruit trees – They plant companion plants around fruits trees to promote diversity and beneficial insects. They are able to grow Mangos which aren’t able to be grown anywhere else within this region due to the rich soil conditions they have created.
- Manufacture Bokashi and Charcoal to use heavily in the soil. This is an important part of adding organic matter and changing the CEC of the soil.
Day 2 – Ubon Ratchathani
Hosts in Ubon
- Jeep; Mr Danuchate Wisaijorn
- JaPong ; Mr Tanitchok Tumhin
- Before using EM they had major issues with disease and a lack of production in the Banana plantation.
- Botrytis had become a major limiting factor and has now been completely eradicated through the introduction of EM and Bokashi
- Increases in production…
- Recycling of organic matter has speed up and contributed to the eradication of Botrytis, this has also been important in improving the soil. The soil considering the heavy rainfall and clay base smelt fresh.
- Improved production – Rubber trees were previously only able to produce rubber for 10 months per year – following introduction of EM and bokashi into the system they now produce all year round.
- Prior to introduction of EM and Bokashi into the system trees would often stop producing rubber due to declining health and deterioration. These trees would need to be chopped down and replanted. Creating a tree treatment using Bokashi and EM has seen these previous dead or dormant trees recover and start being productive again.
- Tree understory has improved rapidly with soil diseases eradicated as rubber tree roots close to the surface so very susceptible to poor soil.
- Mr JaPong took us through a presentation showing the amazing results he has had using EM across Rice, Cassava, Tapioca, Fruit, Banana and Rubber crops. I have included the presentation in the notes sent out.
- Of particular note was the cassava crops which showed huge benefits from EM use. They soak the cassava sticks (transplants) in EM to enhance germination and increase root mass.
Day 3 – Ubon Ratchathani
Military demonstration Farm
The military promote the use of Bokashi, EM and teach other Nature farming fundamentals at a demonstration farm in Ubon. We had the chance to visit and were shown what is taught. They have a model self-sustainable farm to help farmers out of poverty. They show how to make charcoal, bokashi and bricks for use on the farm.
Bokashi Manufacturing Facility
- They use a waste product from a local cassava manufacturing facility as the primary ingredient. They also use EM and Dolomite in the manufacturing process.
- First the ingredients are mixed and then left to ferment outside
- Then they add the fermented bokashi to a mixer and add dolomite. It then gets graded and then granulated with EM again being used as the wetting agent.
- Following this it is put through a drying machine (although this was broken so they were air drying)
- Then graded a final time and then bagged.
- See the video for a look at the entire process.
Day 4 - Pechaburi province
Shrimp farm – Nitaya Farm
- 30 ha
- Produce 170 metric tonnes per year
EM forms an integral part of this shrimp farm and its ability to reuse 100% of its water. By using EM and a state of the art filtration facility the water goes from the aquaculture farm through a filtration and purifying process then back to the aquaculture ponds. This is a unique process in Thailand as most aquaculture facilities pollute the natural environment by discharging there used water which is often full of chemicals and antibiotics. They had a huge disease problem before the introduction of EM into the process and now they are disease free.
This farm doesn’t use any antibiotics or artificial additives – to maintain the health of the shrimp they perform a health check every day – they also check the environment for pH, Alkalinity, Ammonia, Nitrate, Calcium and Magnesium to ensure they have the conditions ideal for shrimp health. EM is also used in the feed this has allowed the farm to be antibiotic free throughout the growth period.
Shrimp are immediately frozen in an ISO9001 factory and prepared for export (Japan).