A total of 20 participants from Bintulu, Bekenu, Miri, Belaga, Kapit and Sibu participated in Fruit Breeding Course which emphasised both theoretical and hands-on learning approach at the Briefing Hall of the Administrative Building of Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Campus (UPMKB), in Bintulu, yesterday.
A UPMKB spokesperson said the course was to expose participants on methods of cultivation, tree maintenance, selection of areas and types of soil suitable for fruit crops.
He said participants could also learn techniques for breeding fruits using seeds and vegetative (grafting) methods, including learning how to prepare a tree for planting and selecting suitable shoots for use.
In addition, he said participants also learned how to identify durian tree clones such as Musang King and Black Thorn.
"The course will encourage the dissemination of agricultural knowledge to the rural community in line with UPM's mission of contributing meaningfully to the development of national wealth and development and universal human progress through exploration and dissemination of knowledge," he said.
The course organised by UPMKB University Agricultural Park is led by UPMKB Senior Lecturer Dr Shiamala Devi Ramaiya.
According to a UPMKB spokesperson, plants are essential for the balance of the ecosystem to provide food to the living, as a habitat and shelter, to supply oxygen and as a source of wood.
“Plant breeding applies to fruits that involve in fertilisation of the male and female gametes to form a zygote. Usually this breeding method uses seeds that are formed when the plant reaches adulthood. On the other hand, breeding without involving gametes is the most commonly used breeding method because it helps to produce crops with pure traits effortlessly, and results in many more reproductive materials to work with," he added.
Obviously, asexual reproduction includes vegetative reproduction (grafting) that uses specific plant parts such as stem, leaf, root, tut, merge, special parts and micro-breeding (tissue culture).