Farmers grow stevia at the Jangsuwon Cooperative Farm in Samsok District, Pyongyang.
The Jangsuwon Cooperative Farm in Samsok District, Pyongyang, directs efforts to growing stevia.
The soil of the farm which specializes in the production of stevia is the right one for its cultivation.
“As the stevia is cultivated for its leaves, the technique is to grow bigger leaves,” said Ri Il Sop, chairman of the Management Board of the Jangsuwon Cooperative Farm.
To this end, the farm concentrates efforts on planting stevia in the right season, ensuring the proper number of plants per phyong and cultivating it in a scientific way to meet the characters of the plant which requires much fertilizer and grows well at high temperature and in the wetland.
The farm puts main stress on root propagation and germinates the seed roots, which are stored in pits during winter, in spring to plant cuttings or graft.
It applies different kinds of growth promoters, homemade manure, nano-silicon fertilizer and complex nutritive solution according to seasons and the nutrition of stevia is remarkable, said workteam leader Ri Kwon Hui.
Now is the season when stevia grows thickly.
At present, the farm is putting efforts into weeding, the application of additional leaf fertilizer and prevention of damage in rainy season after cutting off sprouts. The application of the leaf fertilizer makes it possible to widen the leaf area to the maximum.
“When the harvest season comes every year, the whole field is full of fragrance of stevia, which is more pleasant than that of beautiful flowers,” said farmer Jang Sol Hwa.
The farm’s stevia leaves are big, wide and of good quality. They are dried as required by technical regulations to be sent to the Pyongyang Stevia Processing Factory.
According to experts, one ton of dried leaves is enough to make 50 kilograms of sweetenings.
“The world is now following the trend towards using natural sugar and the domestic demand for stevia increases day after day. Accordingly, we will more than double the cultivation area and per-hectare yields of stevia,” said the chairman of the management board.