In February this year the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conferred a certificate of the world intellectual property  right and a medal of inventor on Yu Son Ok who had developed a natural biological activator based on materials in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. She is the head of a Koryo biological medicine laboratory of the botanical research institute under  the State Academy of Sciences. The biological activator is fifth-generation organic fertilizer which is so widely used as to be well known to everybody engaged in agriculture.

Yu was originally an expert on animal husbandry and veterinary work. She changed her career for the following reason.

In the 1980s the DPRK underwent a huge loss in agricultural production owing to the multiplication of rice water weevils. She was grieved at the reality.

Yu Son Ok ( middle ).

Yu Son Ok (middle).

At the time Yu was a teacher of the faculty of animal husbandry and veterinary science of the then  Sukchon College of Agriculture. She had not enough time to do educational work and the research at the same time. So she would sleep only for two hours a day. Her goal was to develop a vegetable insecticide. She analysed the properties of plants growing in mountains and fields of the country and found out  over 200 kinds of vegetable sources capable of killing the abovementioned insects. At last she developed the agricultural medicine— titled  Myongrok whose basic elements are vegetable. It killed the  weevils that had been killed only by chemicals and over 80 other sorts of harm ful insects. Then there was formed a Koryo biological medicine research group with her as its pillar. Thus, she could accelerate the research.

One day a new idea hit Yu as she considered that plants had maintained their species with their own function of protection. What attracted her attention was that some plants emit essential oil disliked by insects or poison fatal to insects or defend their habitat by suppressing others’ growth. She combined such plants’ ingredients to develop another vegetable insecticide Myongrok-3 free from the disadvantage of  Myongrok that had been used only as insecticide. Myongrok-3 was a composite vegetable insecticide  which made it possible to sterilize seeds without using such chemicals as copper sulphate, formalin and iron sulphate, prevent damage from harmful insects, accelerate growth and increase the rate of rooting of trees.

Yu was not content with that. Now she decided to develop natural fertilizer to substitute chemical fertilizer. To develop the natural fertilizer, she examined physiological activity of over 300 kinds of plants and found out the elements necessary for growth of crops. Thus she succeeded in developing the natural biological activator.

The multifunctional fertilizer is really like a tonic for plants. And it advances the time for an increase in chlorophyll content from three hours to two hours compared with organic fertilizer made in the countries leading the world in organic agriculture, and increases grain output while decreasing the utility of chemical fertilizer 50 percent.

Yu received three state patents, got five national standards, wrote eight scientific books and published over 30 valuable essays. Her research achievements always won high ratings at national science and technology festivals, exhibitions and shows. Thus she became a Doctor and a Merited Scientist, and was awarded the February 16 Scientific and Technological Prize, the highest honour for scientists in the country.

She had two sons, and the sons and their wives are also scientists. The elder son together with his mother, received a certificate of the aforesaid kind. This means that the tradition of the scientists’ family is being carried forward. Having devoted herself to scientific research out of patriotism for nearly 40 years, Yu is still working as a scientist.

Article: Rim Ok