Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Invasive Alien Species - MALAYSIA (Pt 4)


Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fi sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide significant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplified by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.

The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management 
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology". I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.

Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are:


LIVESTOCK

1. Avian Influenza
Avian influenza is a viral disease cause by H5N1. In early August 2004, Malaysia reported its first outbreak of H5N1 in poultry. The other incidences were also reported in February/ March 2006 in the states of Perak and Pulau Pinang. Presently, Malaysia has successfully controlled the disease in the poultry sector and is now considered free of Avian Influenza. There is no report indicating that this disease had infested human in Malaysia.


Info of Avian Flu (From Wikepedia)
"Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "swine flu," "dog flu," "horse flu," or "human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species influenza A virus. All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the influenza A virus. (Note, however, that the "A" does not stand for "avian"). Adaptation is not exclusive. Being adapted toward a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, toward infecting different species. In this way, strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential toward a particular host. For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds. Recent influenza research into the genes of theSpanish flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans, with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

While its most highly pathogenic strain (H5N1) had been spreading throughout Asia since 2003, avian influenza reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East, as well as Africa, the following year. On January 22, 2012, China reported its second human death due to bird flu in a month following other fatalities in Vietnam and Cambodia.  Companion birds in captivity and parrots are highly unlikely to contract the virus, and there has been no report of a companion bird with avian influenza since 2003. Pigeons do not contract or spread the virus. 84% of affected bird populations are composed of chicken and farm birds, while the 15% is made up of wild birds according to capture-and-release operations in the 2000's, during the SARs pandemic. The first deadly Canadian case was confirmed on January 3, 2014. 
Read the article on Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before. Thanks.
 
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Saujana,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(15 Syawal 1435H)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Invasive Alien Species - MALAYSIA (Pt 3)

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). . IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fi sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide signifi cant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplifi ed by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.
 
 
The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management 
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology". I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.

Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are:
 

AQUACULTURE

1. Algar Suckermouth Catfish (Hypotomus plecotomus)
The species originated from South America. Algae sucker mouth catfish or armored catfish or the Municipal Catfish or locally as 'Ikan Bandaraya" as it is popularly known has been found in the Klang-Gombak tributaries in Selangor. They are herbivorous that feeds on detritus and algae (Makan lumut pada dinding aquarium dan dasar akuarium). Feeding is done by plowing along the substrate and using the thick-lip toothy mouth to scrape planting materials (filamentous algae, diatoms) from hard surfaces or to suck up fine sediments. Specimens in aquaria may live more than 10 years. Sucker mouth catchfish are capable of breathing air and extrating oxygen  through the gut lining.

 


2. Redclaw freshwater Crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus)
Red claw is a native to Tropical Queensland and the Notherm Teritory of Australia. It was introduced in Malaysia in 1990 in Kluang, Johor as food fish and ornamental purposes. Red claws has been shown to be susceptible to many diseases and parasites. In Europe and the America's, a devastating fungal disease 'crayfish plague' has caused the mortality in both cultured and wild fresh water crayfish stocks.   

 

3. Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris)
The Peacock Bass, or Peacock Cichlid, is a native of South America. It has been introduced deliberately by anglers as a popular game fish into several small ponds and in mining pools at Batu Gajah and Air Kuning in Perak. It has been reported to be seen in Lake Chenderoh among the fishing enthusiast. This lake is interconnected to Lake Air Ganda, Bersia and Temenggor. This species is very aggressive, a fast breeder and preys on smaller native fishes. It has been identified as a potential cause for ecological imbalance in its adapted habitats.

 


4. Flower Horn (Cichlasoma spp.)
Flower horn or Luo Han or Lump Head Cichlid is a very aggressive and hardy fish. It has been introduced into Malaysia from Taiwan in early 1990s. It can survive under harsh conditions even in drains. It breeds easily and together with its voracious appetite, has the potential to wreak the ecosystem. High price flower horn were kept in aquarium tank while the low quality fish were disposed at nearest pond or waterway causing more damage to the ecosystem.  Continue to read articles in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
MAHA International Exibition Complexs,
MAEPS< Serdang, Selangor,
Malaysia.
(15 Syawal 1435H)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Invasive Alien Species - MALAYSIA (Pt 2)

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). . IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fi sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide signifi cant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplifi ed by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.

The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management 
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology". I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.


Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are: 


8. Virus Disease of Honeybees
Sacbrood is a virus infectious disease that affects the brood of honeybees. Before 1994, indigenous bee, Apis cerana indica has been reared in wooden boxes to produce honey and there was no incidence of sacbrood disease reported. However in early 1994, Apis cerana cerana which is more productive than the native bee was imported from Southern China as a way to improve local honey production. The  importation has indirectly introduced sacbrood disease among the indegenious bee. It caused the colonies to collapsed. Loss of bees and colonies could lead to loss of income and pollination of plant species.


9. Water Hyacinth (Echhorrnia crassipes)
This plant is a native of Amazonian, Brazil. It was fi rst brought into Singapore from Hong Kong in 1963. In Malaysia this weed thrive in still or slowly moving waters. It propagates very rapidly by seeds and offsets and now a serious threat to irrigation and drainage canals and all aquatic environments. It is the world’s most serious water weed and its dominance could bring about reduction or elimination of other species.
10. Barnyard Grass (Echinochloa crus-galli) 
Barnyard grass, locally known as rumput sambau is said to be a native of Europe and India. It was detected in 1925 and suspected to be introduced unintentionally through contaminated seed. Since then, the weed has spread and becomes the most important weed in all rice growing areas. Barnyard grass is the most serious weed in all rice growing areas. In direct-seeded rice fi eld, both weed and rice seeds germinate at the same time, but this weed grow faster and mature earlier. In dense stand of the weed, the rice tillers are reduced by up to 50%, thus the yield will severely reduced.
11. Siam Weed (Chromolaena odorata)
The siam weed, Chromolaena odorata is native to Central America and tropical South America. It is a weed throughout Southeast Asia. The species was introduced into Malaysia from Thailand, since then it has become widespread in coconut growing areas in Peninsular. Presently, the weed is widely distributed in all crops growing areas. However, the presence is not extensive and posing no threat to the crop as they are easily removed by digging, uprooting or slashing.

12. Itch Grass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis)
In Malaysia, it is believed to have been introduced from Thailand. It was fi rst detected in the state of Perlis in 1980 bordering Thailand. The weed was observed to be abundant along a small stream, around swampy areas and ponds in the plantation. In 1985, the weed had spread to about 80 ha of sugarcane and spread throughout the plantation by 1992. It could establish in other crops such as groundnuts, cassava, citrus, rice, papaya and pineapples. Its rapid growth and spread makes it a very competitive and diffi cult to control. At present, it is a serious weed of sugarcane cultivation.
13. Parthenium Weed (Parthenium hysterophorus)
Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus), an invasive and obnoxious weed, is native to Mexico. It has invaded many countries including India, Australia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka and caused disastrous ecological and economical losses. In India, the weed has been rated as the “worst weed” of the century. Lately, this weed has been discovered in Hulu Yam, Batang Kali, Selangor. The weed was found growing in open places, areas adjacent to the wall of some vegetable farms or in small bushes and along the Sungai Liam river. The presence of this weed was fi rst reported by Dr S. M. Rezaul Karim, professor, Faculty of Agro-based Industry, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan in September 2013.

14. Golden Apple Snail(Pomacea canaliculata) and 
Black Apple Snail (Pomacea insularus)
Apple snails (Pomacea spp.) is indigenous to South America, fi rst introduced to Taiwan in 1980, Japan in 1981, Philippines in 1982 and Thailand in 1986 for commercial purposes. It has been illegally brought into Malaysia for the same purpose. It was fi rst detected in fi shponds in Puchong and Subang, both in Selangor in 1991. The snail species found in Puchong identifi ed as P. insularus, while in Subang as P. canaliculata. Initial control measures aimed to contain and eradicate the snails were unsuccesful . Currently these pests has spread throughout the country. Continue to read articles in Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4. Thanks!.
By,
M Anem, 
Senior Agronomists,
Federal Agriculture Center,
Serdang, Selangor,
Malaysia.
(15 Syawal 1435H)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Invasive Alien Species - MALAYSIA (Pt 1)

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). . IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide signifi cant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplifi ed by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.

The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management 
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology" I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.


Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are: 


1. Diamondback Moth (Plutella Xylostella)
This insect pest was found in Cameron Highlands in 1934 once the cultivation of temperate vegetables started. By 1941, diamondback moth (DBM) became a major pest of cabbage in the Cameron Highlands by 1941. This pest had developed resistant to pesticides and biological control had to be introduced in the late 80’s. To date, farmers spray 4-7 rounds of insecticides to control this pest in the fi eld to prevent losses.

2. Cocoa Pod Borer (Conopormopha Cramerella)
The introduction of this species into Malaysia is suspected associated with mature pods that are brought in for planting materials from Indonesia. The first CPB infestation was detected in Sabah in August 1980. Mean while in the same period, the pest had also spread and established itself in Sarawak, the neighboring state of Sabah. In Peninsular Malaysia the pest was detected in a cocoa estate in Jasin Lalang, Melaka in the 1985. When it was first detected, the Federal Government initiated a containment and eradication program to prevent the pest from spreading to other cocoa growing areas. However after 3 years of implementation, the program was suspended as this pest had widely spread throughout the country. Presently, this pest is considered endemic in Malaysia. 

3. Beet Army Worm
The beet armyworm is an important pest of wide range of economic crops and is widespread in the subtropical, tropical and temperate regions. This pest was fi rst detected in 1996 attacking hot pepper in Ayer Hitam, Johor. Subsequently, sporadic small outbreaks of Spodoptera exigua were reported in other parts of Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Kelantan. Now S. exigua has become an important pest of various crops such as onions, brinjal, legumes, chilli and crucifers. It is a major pest to vegetables.

4. Leaf Miners 
(Chromatomyia Horticola And Liriomyza Huidobrensis)
Both species are pests of economic importance on several vegetables and ornamentals in the temperate and tropical regions. In Malaysia, they occurred in Cameron Highlands where temperate and sub temperate vegetables and ornamentals are grown (Syed and Sivapragasam, 1999). It is believed that the introductions of temperate cut fl ower planting materials from Europe could have introduced the leaf miners into Cameron Highlands (Syed et. al, 2000). Pesticides are the major control used to suppress the populations. Sweet peas cultivation in Cameron Highlands stopped due to the heavy damage by these pests.



5. Citrus Greening Disease
Citrus Greening is a highly destructive disease of citrus cause by bacterium Candidatus liberobacter asiaticum and probably originated from China. This diseasae seriously affects citurs production in Asia Including Malaysia. This disease is only confirmed present in Malaysia in 1989. This disease becomes a major stumbling blocks to the health and growth of citrus industry. Citrus growers has to resort to insecticides to protects their crops from vectors that spreads the disease. In the long run this measure will create more problems, as the use of pesticides would contaminate the environments and increase costs of productions.


6. Papaya Ring Spot Virus
Papaya Ringspot Virus was originated from South America. In Asia it was first detected in Koushung, Taiwan in 1975 and at Luzon, Philipines in 1982. In Malaysia the disease was detected in Southern part of Peninsular Malaysia that is Johor in 1991 (That period I was working in Johor DOA). Following the discovery in Johor of PSRV, a nationwide survey was conducted to detect the disease. The results of the survey found out that the PSRV disease occured in Johor and other southern part but nit in Perak which was the second largest papaya producer in Malaysia. Since the PSRV was first detected, the area planted with papaya were reduced drastically as all plants in infested areaa were removed in order to eliminate the source of virus. Furthermore there is no new planting was done as the growers was move out from the infested area to new location to grow papaya such as in area like Segamat, Kuantan, Negeri Sembilan and other nothern state.   


7. Papaya Dieback (Erwinia papayae)
Bacterial Crown Rot disease (Erwinia papayae) is known to be present in Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Indonesia and Malaysia. The fi rst report of this disease in S.E. Asia was in Java in (von Rant, 1931). E. papayae was also reported as causing bacterial canker of papaya in the Caribbean by Gardan et al. (2004). In Malaysia, this disease was detected in 2003 in Johor and later it was confi rmed that E. papayae is responsible for the papaya dieback symptoms (Maktar et.al, 2008). This disease has spread all over the Peninsular Malaysia thus affecting the papaya industry seriously leading to signifi cant reduction in production and losses in export market. Continue to read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Federal Agriculture Station,
Serdang, Selangor,
Malaysia.
(14 Syawal 1435H)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE RUBBER TREE FACTS

RUBBER (Hevea brasilliensis) is one of the Malaysian plantation crop since hundreds year ago. More than 1,021,000 hectar of rubber tree planted in Malaysia in 2014 with total production of 260,000 mt with 232,000 mt as fry rubber and 28,000 as latex for local and export market. Smallholdwe sector contributes 70 of rubber growing area and the balance are an estate sector. Rubber tree in botany explaination are grown originally in the wild. The rubber tree will grow to heights of 100 to 130 feet, and can live up to 100 years. Its most famous feature is the milky white sap, known as latex, which flows freely from the tree when a sliver of bark is removed. I hav an experience to tap the rubber tree during my young age at my kampong in Johor. There are almost 1 million rubber taper in Malaysia as their jobs.  A rubber tree, also referred to as rubberwood, can be tapped for latex once it reaches approximately six years of age. In order to reproduce, the fruit of the rubberwood burst open when ripe, scattering its many seeds in an area spanning up to 100 feet from the tree.This article I would like to share khowledge about facts of rubber tree.



Rubber tree is a species of rubberwood that is native to rainforests in the Amazon region of South America, including Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. These trees are generally found in low-altitude moist forests, wetlands, riparian zones, forest gaps and disturbed areas. It is a quick growing tree, often the first to establish itself when a gap in the canopy is produced but may be shaded out as more trees fill in the canopy opening. Today, commercially produced rubber can also be found throughout much of Southeast Asia and Western Africa. First discovered by the ancient Olmec, Maya and Aztec, the latex sap from the rubber tree was once used to make rubber balls, to waterproof clothes and even to form homemade shoes. Today, the latex sap from the rubber tree is still used in the modern processing of rubber and is often a substantial source of income for indigenous populations.
Rubber tappers have disagreed over the rights to clear forest land. Cutting down the forest is not only detrimental to the species that depend on that land, but also damaging to the people that earn a living by sustainably harvesting what the forest provides. Many indigenous people depend on these sources of income to provide for their families and communities. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are main South East Asia major production natural rubber in this region. New high yielding clone are grown with high latex production and for log production introduced in Malaysia.
Thanks.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
RRIM Sg Buloh,
Selangor,
Malaysia.
(8 July 2014)



Saturday, July 5, 2014

PEPPER RESEARCH IN MALAYSIA

 
Pepper and Pepper Research in Sarawak
Pepper, the world's most widely used spice for food flavouring, is the fruit of the tropical climbing vine Piper nigrum L., native to south-western India. In Sarawak, pepper cultivation dates back to 1856 but more extensive planting started in the 1900s.
Today, pepper is one of the important cash crops supporting the livelihood of about 67,000 rural dwellers in upland areas of Sarawak. Holdings are small, averaging 0.2 ha. they concentrate in certain Districts of Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong and Sarikei Divisions. The present estimated planted area is about 13,000 ha.

Sarawak exported about 19,748 tonnes of pepper in 2004 and 18,824 tonnes in 2003, valued at RM 113.2 million and RM 120.0 million respectively. Nearly 98% of Malaysian pepper is produced in Sarawak. Currently, Malaysia ranks No. 5 after Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Brazil in terms of pepper production. The production in 2004 was about 20,000 tonnes.

Export Forms of Pepper
About 95 % of the pepper traded globally is in the form of black and white peppercorns. The remaining 5% is made up of pepper oleoresin, pepper oil, green pepper and ground pepper.

The Pepper Plant
Pepper vines thrive in warm and wet tropical climate. They are normally grown from stem cuttings, rarely from seeds. The root system is developed from adventitious roots formed at nodes that are buried in the soil at planting. As the vegetative (orthotropic) shoot climbs upward, a simple leaf is produced at each node. A bunch of short adventitious roots also develops to help the shoot cling to the support. At each node an axillary bud grows into a lateral branch (plagiotropic) which eventually bears the fruit spikes.

Flower spikes originate at the node opposite each leaf. Most cultivars have bisexual flowers that are usually self-pollinated. The fruit is a berry, pale green and soft in the early stage, but turns dark green and hard as it matures. The outer skin (exocarp) becomes yellow and bright red and becomes soft as it ripens. Each berry contains a single seed enclosed by a pulpy mesocarp. The commercial black peppercorn is the entire dried berry whereas the white peppercorn is the seed.

Peppercorn owes its pungency to the presence of the alkaloids piperine, chavicine and piperettine. Volatile essential oils give rise to the typical aroma. Together, these compounds constitute the oleoresin that can be recovered by solvent extraction. The spiciness and pungency are influenced by varieties and also the growing locale.

Pepper Cultivars
Many cultivars exist in India, the centre of origin of pepper. In Sarawakaccessions of P. nigrum and 46 accessions of other Piper species. These materials are used in the pepper improvement programme., the most widely grown cultivar is 'Kuching' . Through research, two cultivars, 'Semongok perak' and 'Semongok emas', have been released to farmers. At ARC Semongok.


 
Original article from:
Depertment of Agriculture
Kuching, Sarawak,
Malaysia.
(July 2014)