By Nisa Khairina Amirudin
Photo by Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, 6th August - Over 500 participants from various backgrounds, such as paddy farmers, agriculture officers, development officers, research officers, paddy industry policy makers, activists from non-government organisations (NGO) and students, attended the National Congress of Paddy Farmers 2019 (PPPK 2019).
The congress which was themed “Productive Farmers as Drivers of National Food Security” (Pesawah Produktif Pemacu Sekuriti Makanan Negara), was held on the 6th – 7thAugust and organised by the Institute of Tropical Agricultural and Food Security (ITAFoS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.
Among the contents of the program were paperwork presentations, question and answer session with fellow experts, a sharing session by the paddy farmer’s icon, a workshop conducted by agricultural experts, and innovative product exhibition by UPM, agriculture agencies, private companies, researchers and students.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Dato’ Salahuddin Ayub said, the purpose of the congress was to provide exposure to all participants, especially the farmers and paddy development agents to the latest technology in agronomic aspect as well as efficient paddy field management.
“Through the expansion of technology, farmers are urged to adapt to the latest technology in paddy management and production in order to increase paddy yield which will consequently increases farmers’ income,” he said.
He added, PPPK 2019 is in line with the National Agrofood Policy which emphasises on knowledgeable and competitive human capital in order to ensure the growth and modernisation of the country’s paddy industry.
Vice Chancellor of UPM, Prof. Datin Paduka Dato’ Dr. Aini Ideris said, UPM is keen on organising agriculture development based activities, especially for the farmers’ community nationwide, and various research as well as development of new technologies especially with regards to the paddy-rice sector have been done.
Besides the countless innovations that were carried out between the years 2011 and 2019 such as the new PadiU Putra 1 variety that gave 10-30% increase of paddy yield, she said, UPM researchers have also developed precise agriculture studies like the unmanned plane or drone technology and an artificial intelligent application to improve the efficiency of paddy field management.
“UPM researchers have also produced new innovations such as biofertiliser and biopesticide technology to control apple snails, and these innovations were launched and commercialised by UPM,” she said.
Other than that, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between UPM and Kelola Bendang Sdn. Bhd. was also signed during the ceremony.
Through the MoU, UPM commits to guiding Kelola Bendang company in achieving high production of paddy yield as well as to turn the company’s paddy field into one of the research platforms for paddy research and training for UPM students. - UPM
Date of Input: 30/08/2019 | Updated: 30/08/2019 | ahmadazlan
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