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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SARAWAK SET TO BE PINEAPPLE EXPORT HUB

Sarawak farmers in Malaysia will no longer be facing problem to plant premium export quality MD2 pineapple soon as the government has resolved the seedling shortage issue. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas told the media here yesterday that industry players are now allowed to bring in the suckers as the government has reviewed its policy on the matter. “For Sarawak we have resolved the issue. Initially we cannot bring in the suckers, but now we can. Our strategy will be to look for farmers who can produce planting materials for the next one or two years,” Uggah told reporters when launching a pilot Premium Pineapple Farm at Kampung Padang Pan, near here. Earlier in his speech, Uggah who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development revealed that MD2 pineapple farmers will be able to earn up to RM5,000 per month. Uggah told the audience that he was very surprised to see pineapples being planted at such a steep gradient via the project and praised Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Anthony Nogeh for taking such a brave approach in MOA effort to boost rural farmers’ income.

This pioneer premium pineapple project will determine the future direction of Sarawak pineapple industry. For a start the initial stage government will plant four hectares of land with an allocation of RM300,000 and this pilot farm will become as a nursery to further development of a total area of 129 hectares. “In the past, pineapples are linked to peat soil but today this project shows us that it can be planted in hilly area on mass scale, this definitely will increase the acreage of land feasible for pineapple projects,” Uggah added. If all go as planned, Malaysia Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) predicted that Sarawak will become Malaysia’s pineapple hub soon due to the state’s strategic location with the world’s largest market – China. “By 2020 Sarawak is expected to become MD2 hub to China exporting about 100 containers valued at RM6 million per month,” he said, adding that China recently has approved the import of pineapple from Malaysia.


Uggah stressed that Sarawak is very serious about developing its pineapple industry as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg recently had approved RM10 million to build infrastructure for pineapple planting in Beting Maro state constituency. The Deputy Chief Minister took a swipe at MPIB for neglecting Sarawak in the past, and seemed to indicate it would be giving less than RM25 million promised to Sarawak under the 11th Malaysia Plan. “They give us RM3 million previous year and RM3 million last year. I told them mathematically this is not right because RM3 million a year in 5 years will not come to RM25 million they promised us. I am very happy this year they will give us RM6.5 million,” Uggah jibed, to laughter of the audience. Uggah also praised Nogeh for convincing him to work with the private sector to develop pineapple and durian industry in Sarawak, and took the trouble to introduce big players in Peninsular Malaysia who have the market in China and experience in downstream durian processing for export.

Meanwhile, Nogeh who spoke earlier revealed that his ministry would import MD2 suckers from a neighbouring country if the need arises as Sarawak raced to open up more pineapple plantation due do great demand. “For the immediate requirement, Malaysia Pineapple Industry Board will look into the possibility of importing from the Philippines – the MD2 suckers,” Nogeh said. Nogeh added the volume imported would depend very much on the request by Sarawak government. The deputy minister took pain to explain the difficulty faced by his team to introduce MD2 pineapple to Sarawak due to certain policy. “When we first wanted to start MD2 in Sarawak, there were a lot of obstacles. My first task was to bring the Agriculture Department Director and his officers to listen to briefing from MPIB and visit pineapple farm in Johor. Initially we were not allowed to bring in suckers for fear they will bring in disease so we buy tissue culture from a company in Buso, Bau and Pahang.

I would like to thank Agriculture Ministry Sarawak for allowing this pilot project, and this is the beginning for Sarawak to play a big role in the pineapple industry because as far as Sabah is concerned, they did not accept Pineapple Industry Act and as a result MPIB cannot operate in Sabah, so how they will regulate the industry we don’t know. Whereas here in Sarawak, I am very grateful to Sarawak government for allowing MPIB to come in and set up office here and help the rakyat,” Nogeh said. He explained MD2 was chosen because the variety is commanding very high demand and Malaysia have exported it to Europe, Middle East and recently to China. “Protocol have been signed with China, our Minister have signed agreement with China and they welcome our MD2 pineapple now. Several companies are sending the fruits to China now but is still not enough. China is also importing from Philippines and Costa Rica, but Costa Rica is three times the distance from Malaysia, we have the geographical location advantage,” he added. Nogeh said the pineapple planted in Kampung Padang Pan will be multiplied as a source of seedlings for Sarawak farmers from other areas. This news are adapted from a posted article from Borneo Post recently. 

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Room 1226, Hotel Hilton,
Kuching, Sarawak,
Malaysia.
(3 Ramadan 1439H).

Friday, August 3, 2018

RED PALM WEEVIL at TERENGGANU


Agriculture Departments here have been directed to inspect all date palm and to destroy trees determined to be infested with red weevil beetles. This move is crucial, because red weevil beetles find a convenient host in date palm, and they are now attacking coconut trees," said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. For the blog writer that attended the ceremony at Kg Abang, Dungun, Terengganu, also visite many coconut area severely damaged by RPW recently. The Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is currently the most severe pest of major cultivated palms, including coconut palms. RPW infestation was first detected in 2007 by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in all seven Terengganu districts. An intensive three month-survey in 2011 throughout Terengganu in over 800 ha of coconut plantations, villages, parks and in Federal Land Development (FELDA) plantations in all districts indicated that RPW attacked as many as 550,000 coconut trees, showing a drastic increase and rapid spread of RPW population. The symptoms and damages of each attacked part (shoot, cabbage, petiole and trunk) of infested coconut palms where different growth stages of the insects lived is discussed in this paper. However, symptoms of attack at an early stage of infestation were difficult to detect as the RPW is a concealed tissue borer. The severely infested coconut palms showed signs of wilting, drooping of dried leaves like an umbrella-shaped or skirting-shaped leaves. By the time the presence of the weevil is realized, it is already too late to save the palm. A total number of 1,208 RPW which consists of 12 eggs (1.0%), 392 larvae (32.5%), 677 pupae (56.0%) and 127 adults (10.5%) were collected from this study.


Higher numbers of RPW were found in petioles (770 individuals), followed by cabbages (194 individuals), trunks (142 individuals) and the least was shoots (102 individuals). Various stages of RPW (egg, larvae, pupae, adult) co-existed in the same infested coconut palm, until the total death of the palm, where the adults move to another host plant. The larvae were found starting from the top of the palm, moving inside the palm making tunnels and large cavities, even at the base of the trunk. This is the first report on the onslaught of R. ferrugineus on coconut palms in this country. This invasive weevil will be a threat to the coconut industry and, could threaten the survival of oil palm plantations, which represents the backbone of Malaysia’s commodities market. An early action is needed to prevent further spread of the pest in other states of the region and to protect the coconut industry in Malaysia. There are more articles on RPW ata "Anim Agro Technology" from my blogs at animhosnan.blogspot.com for further information. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Coconut Farms, Kg Abang,
Dungun, Terengganu,
Malaysia.
(4 March 1438H)

Monday, July 30, 2018

STATUS PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA - UPDATED

PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus) is a one of the most popular tropical fruits in Malaysia. It is categorized in a group of major fruit because that has a great potential to generate incomes for farmers, as well as countries. Its popularity is due to its multi-forms in consumption. Matured pineapples can be eaten fresh as dessert or salads; cooked as mostly found in local delicacies; or processed into juice and jams, among others. The juice from young pineapples is believed to be suitable for treatment of various diseases because it is rich in nutrients such as bromelain and vitamin A and B1. In addition, pineapple also contains citric acid that can effectively eliminate fat and help in reducing weight. The updated info about pineapple in Malaysia continue that pineapples are mostly planted in the states of Johor, Sarawak, Sabah, Kedah, Selangor, Penang, and Kelantan. Among the varieties of pineapples planted in Malaysia are MORIS, MORIS Gajah, Josapine, Yankee, Gandul, N36, and MD2. However, only two local varieties namely Josapine and N36 have been successfully exported, mainly to Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because these varieties have a long shelf-life (Abu Kasim et al., 2010). Currently, the MD2 variety, which originated from Hawaii is also planted and marketed in local as well as for international markets. Pineapple uses 6.3% agrofood area in Malaysia, which is the fourth largest area after durian (41.3%), banana (18.0%), and rambutan (9.8%). In Malaysia, pineapples are grown in area of around 10,847 hectares with an estimated production of 272,570 metric tons in 2015 (DOA, 2016). Figure 1 shows the trends of production, export, and area of pineapple industry from 1975 to 2015. Within 40 years, the production trend of Malaysia’s pineapples slightly grew upward compared to areas planted. This is due to the application of technology such as high density planting system, mechanization during planting and use of better fertilizers. However, the exports of Malaysian fresh pineapples showed a constant trend even though the production is increasing since 1975 until 2015, (DOA, 2016 and Raziah, 2009). This is due to higher demand from local consumption.

Malaysia was one of the big players in the pineapple industry. It was one of the three main pineapple producing countries during the 1960s and 1970s, after Costa Rica and the Philippines. However, Malaysia's position as the main pineapple exporter in the world has been taken over by other countries. In 2013, Costa Rica, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and Colombia are the top 10 pineapple producers supplying around 70.5% output of pineapples to the world (Fig. 3). Other important producers are Ghana and other countries including Malaysia which provides most of the remaining outputs (29.5%) (Comtrade, 2016). Malaysia's position in the world pineapple production has dropped to number 20. However, Malaysia still plays a major role in the world pineapple trade. Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB, 2016) reported that Malaysia exports about 20,278.9 tons of fresh pineapples to several countries, particularly to its traditional destination Singapore, followed by processed products such as canned pineapples (8,853.4 tons), pineapple slips (8,356.4 tons), and pineapple juice (1,461.6 tons), in 2015. The current pineapples export trend shows a potential to enter the new markets such as China and Europe, in addition to improve its existing markets in Singapore, UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Malaysia is a net exporter of pineapples. The Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) of pineapples was recorded around 106.7% in 2017, showing a reduction by 0.3% from the previous year. Even though the production of pineapples exceeded the local demand, Malaysia still imports fresh pineapples from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia. The import dependency ratio (IDR) of pineapples however, showed an increase of 0.1% compared to 2013 (0.7%). Increase in population and preferences are among the reasons for the increase in uses of fresh pineapples on a per capita basis. For example, the consumption per capita has increased by 35% in 2014, compared to 2013, which is 5.8 kg per person per year (DOSM, 2016). Asian region is a major supplier of pineapples in the world. The Asian region which contributed almost 50% of the world pineapple production during the 2005-2014 and accounted for around 48%, followed by Americas (36.6%) and Africa (14.4%) (FAO, 2016). The prospects of the pineapple industry for the next 10 years is bright, in line with the various strategies that have been identified and implemented to strengthen the value chain. Several policies intervention helped to achieve the self-sufficiency target, thus improving the income of local residents through programs that are executed either in the National Agricultural Policy (NAP), Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11thMP), Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and others. Programs and projects implemented by the Government seems to be effective and resulted with a stronger industry. The continuous explorations of new markets and attaining marketing efficiency from the existing ones as well as the production of downstream products have provided new opportunities for the huge pineapple markets. Therefore, policy interventions have an impact to promote the Malaysian pineapple industry globally. This article was updated recently for references. Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA, Johor BAhru,
Johor, Malaysia.
(5 Ramadan 1439H).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

FACTORS AFFECTING PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION IN JOHORE

Pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merr.) is a tropical and economic fruit with encouraging market potential in the global market. It is the first crop grown as a commodity crop in Malaysia and raised the country’s position to a very significant level in the world between the late 60 s and early 70 s. However, Malaysian pineapple’s contribution to the global market in the recent time has been experiencing downward trend, resulting to a set-back in its factors of competitiveness. This study aimed to determine factors influencing pineapple market supply in Johor, Malaysia, with objectives of identifying factors affecting pineapple market supply and quantity supplied of pineapple to the market in the study area. Data were collected using a well-structured close ended questionnaire via face-to- face from 170 randomly selected pineapple farmers. The obtained data were analysed using descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and regression analysis. Six factors identified by exploratory factor analysis as the factors affecting pineapple supply are credit access, pineapple varieties, distance to the market, cost of input, price of pineapples and extension services. The result of regression analysis revealed that, quantity of pineapple supplied to the market was found affected by farming experience, farm size, credit access, pineapple varieties, cost of inputs, price of pineapples, and extension services at 1% and 5% significant level respectively. The study recommends the need for designing appropriate intervention mechanisms focusing on the aforementioned factors to improve industry’s performance in the global market and uplift the status of smallholder pineapple farmers.

Based on literature, marketable supply of the commodities has been recognized as a significant factor to income generation of smallholder farmers, profit made by farmers, hence improves farmers’ livelihoods and economic development in general. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors affecting pineapple market supply in Johor, Malaysia. In addition to this, factors affecting the quantity of pineapple marketable supply in the study area were determined. The result of factor analysis in this study showed that credit access, pineapple varieties, distance to the market, cost of inputs, price of pineapples and extension services were identified as factors affecting pineapple supply. The regression analysis result revealed that, farming experience, farm size, credit access, pineapple varieties, cost of inputs, price of pineapples and extension services had significant.Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor BAhru,
Johor, Malaysia.
(4 Ramadan 1439H).

Sunday, June 24, 2018

CHINA PINES FOR MALAYSIA APINEAAPPLES



Fruits of their labour: Ahmad putting a pineapple on an arch after launching MPIB’s 60th Anniversary Pineapple Fiesta at the

Pontian Trade Centre, Johor.

PONTIAN: Apart from the Musang King durian craze, the Chinese consumers are also craving Malaysia’s fresh pineapples, with demand for the fruits going up drastically. According to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) aimed to increase production by 20% next year to cope with demand from China. Demand from the Chinese market, he said, was for 100 tonnes each week but Malaysia was only able to provide about 60 tonnes. The MD2 pineapple variety, he said, seemed to be a favourite. “It can be sold in China for around RM20, twice its usual price,” he said after launching MPIB’s 60th anniversary Pineapple Fiesta here yesterday. The increase in pineapple production and export, said Ahmad Shabery, would also help boost many related industries, such as logistics, warehousing and shipping. “China remains a huge market for us and next month, we are planning to visit the country again to promote our birds’ nests,” he said.

On durians, Ahmad Shabery believed that both Malaysia and China would come to an agreement on exporting fresh fruits into the country within a year. “Due to China’s strict biosecurity and food safety regulations, whole durians cannot be brought into the country because our fruits come in contact with soil when they fall from the trees,” he said, adding that his ministry was working with farmers to ensure that the criteria were met. “It took us 10 years to bring pineapples into China and we have been trying for 12 years to bring in jackfruits as well. These things take time,” he added. Besides China, Malaysia exports durians to Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and the Middle East. This article posted from Vienna, Austria during my 2 weeks family vacation to Europe....
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor Bahru, Johor,
Malaysia.
(3 Ramadan 1439H).
Posted from:
Top 3, No 10, Favouriten,
Karmarschgasse, 1100,
Vienna, Austria.
(10 Syawal 1439H).

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

PINEAPPLE - READY FOR CHINA EXPORTS

Malaysia's more than 2,000 pineapple farmers and plantation owners have been told to step up their game to meet an increased demand for the fruit crop in the Chinese market.  Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) chairman Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali said Malaysian pineapples had become a new source of wealth for the country as its export value was expected to increase from RM155 million a year to RM320 million by 2020. He said China was among the newest export destinations for Malaysian pineapples, and there was still huge potential for Malaysia to tap into the big Chinese market. "So far, Malaysia can only meet 10 per cent of the demand for pineapples in China. The consumer demand for Malaysian pineapples is there, and meeting the demand and quality standards of China is something not many countries are able to fulfill.

According to Director General of MPIB, Dato' Mohd Anim Hosnan, Malaysia only began exporting pineapples in a big way to China on Oct 12 , 2017 this year. Since then, not less than 150 metric tonnes of pineapples are sent to China each week," said Dato Mohd Anim at the MPIB headquarters in Bandar Baru UDA here today. He said penetrating the Chinese market remained a challenge, but this could be overcome if more industry players stepped forward to collaborate with the MPIB. Samsol Bari said on the local front, Malaysian consumption of pineapples had seen encouraging growth as the ratio of consumer to pineapple consumption increased from 1:10 five years ago to 1:14 now. "Local pineapple farmers can earn about RM5,000 a month from every hectare cultivated. Farmers are also able to sell fresh pineapples at high prices as there are more hybrids of the fruit now," said Samsol Bari. He said Johor remained the highest producer of pineapples as the state accounted for 68 per cent of the farming areas that cultivated the fruit.

By,
 M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
KPF Pineapple Farm,
Ulu Tiram, Johor BAhru,
Johor.
Posted from Room 604, Confort Hotel Olomuc Center,
Wolkerova 29, Olomuc,
Chech Republic.
(5 Syawal 1439H)





Saturday, June 2, 2018

AQUAPONIC AGRICULTURE - FOR FUTURE


Aquaponics farming, is the combination of the aquaculture (raising fish in contained tank) and hydroponics (growing in soil with recirculating water system). Water is drained from the fish tank, into a media bed using the gravity force. The theory of aquaponics is to maximize the use of the energy and nutrients produced in the system in order to harvest the maximum amount of healthy vegetables and fish protein from it. Combining the fish, water and plants can produce vegetables and fish in a very small space, and only little water is required to make this system run. History of this technology known as ''Aquaponics'' was originally from China and some parts of the system were developed in other countries of the world. In China, farmers knew that land livestock’s waste is able to increase the production of vegetables and fruits. Besides, they also realized that different types of fish had different tolerance against the level of the animal waste. Bigger livestock waste would absorb more oxygen and cause many fish to die. The system was then refined to make sure they could raise chicken, utilize their waste, and minimize the number of fish dying due to high concentrated waste in the same time. This is what we call as conventional farming system. However, this system doesn’t decrease the amount of fresh water needed. A large amount of the water is wasted and evaporated with this conventional farming system. Due to the climate changes, and increase in the cost, finally the system has been evolved to the modern aquaponics farming system that we have right now. This article I am able to share in ""Anim Agriculture Technology"" telling story about the aquaponic agriculture related to Malaysia environment.


How actually this technology works?.. Green method of farming produces healthier food and requires lesser amount of fresh water compared to the agriculture in conventional farming system. This system is environmentally friendly and can greatly reduce the energy consumption for planting, harvesting, shipping food and greenhouse gas emission. Fish and plants are grown together in a closed loop re-circulating system, with a low rate of water usage. Fish waste is delivered to a settling tank to remove heavy waste, before being sent to growing trays to provide nutrition to the plants. At the same time, plants provide a natural filter for the water to provide fish healthy fresh water. This relationship between fish and the plants is to create a sustainable ecosystem, to make sure both the plants and fish thrive in terms of production. This technology are best for those stay in urban area such as at an area like condominium, flats and terrace housing estates in future. It will be able to provide fresh, clean and safe food for them. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomiat,
141, The Light Hotel,
Seberang Perai, Pulau Pinang,
Malaysia.
(2 Rabiulawal 1439H).