Bintulu – A total of 30 individuals consisting of researchers, graduate students and farmers participated in the Menugal (planting rice) activity in conjunction with the Opening Ceremony of the Hills Paddy@Padi Huma Crop Research Plot held at Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Campus (UPMKB). The brief ceremony was held on 26 June 2023 and officiated by the Director of Campus, UPMKB, Prof. Dr. Shahrul Razid Sarbini. He said 1 hectare of land has been allocated to carry out research projects under the Transdisciplinary Research Grant Scheme (TRGS-KPT) 2022. "This plot will be a ‘base-line data' for researchers to test the technology of seed funding, biofertilizers, biocharcoals, biopesticide and the gradation of pre- and post-harvest methods in the field before the transfer of technology is done to farmers in Sungai Asap, Belaga, Bintulu", he said.
Speaking to reporters, Head of Programme, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noorasmah Saupi said the project, which is fully funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, aims to increase the production of Kerawing hill paddy in Sungai Asap, Belaga, Sarawak besides commercializing local rice varieties in improving the country's food adequacy. She added that a program called Improvement of Sosioeconomic of Small-Scale Farmers Through Sustainable Intervention to Increase Hill Paddy (Kerawing Var.) Productivity at Sg Asap, Belaga Sarawak is expected to increase the quantity of Kerawingrice yield, optimise the use of sustainable agricultural inputs such as the use of biofertilizers, biocoals and biopesticides as well as improve post-harvest management to maintain the premium quality of this variety to be on par with existing varieties such as Bario and Biris rice. "We hope that this rice variety can be a (Geographical Indication) Indication for Sungai Asap which can be known as the Kerawing Rice Sungai Asap", she said.
According to Prof. Dr. Shahrul Razid Sarbini, a total of 4 projects will be implemented under this program led by researchers at UPMKB, namely Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noorasmah Saupi, Prof. Dr. Patricia King Jie Hung, Dr. Tunung Robin and Dr. Adrian Daud while the supervisor for this research plot is Mr. Philip Lepun. "We are very positive about the impact that will be had in this study as it supports the National Agrofood Policy (DAN 2.0) which has been introduced by the government to address the issue of national food security", he said.
For the record, a total of RM932,649 has been obtained from the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to carry out this programme which is expected to expire on 30 November 2025.
Date of Input: 06/07/2023 | Updated: 07/07/2023 | lanz
97008 Bintulu, Sarawak,