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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

MADA INTRODUCE DRONES

JERLUN 1 April – Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) will make history as the first agency in the country to introduce the use of drones for commercial and large-scale cultivation of rice. Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the technology will be used in the first season of planting for this year involve MADA Paddy Estate Project area of ​​2,000 hectares. “So far MADA through its subsidiary, MADACorp Sdn. Bhd. has six agricultural drones that will be used for the work of spraying. “I understand that the use of drones can reduce up to 20 percent compared to the poison usual. Moreover the use of pesticides can also be cut by up to 30 percent,” he told reporters after launching the Jom Download Bendang 2017 in the village camped, Padang Sera here today. Also present were Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz, who is also Chairman of MADA; Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar and Deputy Secretary (Development) ministry, Badrul Hisham Mohd.

Ahmad Shabery said the use of drones is part of the ministry’s efforts to introduce accurate and precise farming as practiced in developed countries to ensure that farmers are able to have more lucrative results. Asked to comment on the arguments of some people who do not agree with the use of drones on health factors and the reduction of the workforce, the minister said it was willing to hear the views of any party, including those who specialize in health before the technology is extended to the whole country. “On human health and the threat to any living organism, we can not compromise, but I understand this is not an agricultural drone drone fly as high as that used to take a picture instead just flying as high as two meters enabling controlled spreading poison. “The amount of poison used is also not as much as is used in conventional processes poison. However, we are willing to hear the views of all parties other than farmers met to enlighten and provide training in the use of drones,” he said. In the meantime, he said the early planning MADA to make seeding through direct seeding method of cleaning will not proceed with the farmers asked to do seeding as usual for the season. ThankYou!!.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Melaka City,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(1 Muhharam 1440H).

Saturday, February 9, 2019

AVIAN FLU IN SABAH CONTAINED

News from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia stated that one chicken farm in the Tuaran district was found positive for avian influenza (bird flu) and the Veterinary Services Department has declared the district as a bird flu epidemic area. Speaking at a press conference here today, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong said the department also disposed of all poultry within a 1km radius from the chicken farm. This will be expanded to a 5km radius if the surveillance report found positive samples outside the initial 1km radius. “The department’s enforcement unit will also ensure that no poultry products are brought out of the containment area,” he said. Wong explained that the action was taken following a viral message on social media about the high rate of mortality of chickens in the farms in Sabah. He said at the time, the department continued to test 939 samples from various farms and all of them were found clean from any disease.
The one farm found to return positive results for avian influenza was detected on July 31 by the department. This prompted the government to take swift action to contain the disease from spreading. “I am happy to report that all chicken meat and eggs sold in the market are safe for consumption because they have all gone through stringent inspection before they are sold to the people. “However, it is advised that all these products are cooked completely. “I urge chicken farmers in the state to inform the nearby Veterinary Services Department offices if more than 3% of their chickens die at any one time. “At the same time, I would like to assure the people that the epidemic is now contained and will be resolved completely within a month,” he said. THank You.





By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Melaka City,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(1 Muharram 1440H).

Friday, February 8, 2019

NO AVIAN FLU OUTBREAK IN MALAYSIA

Recently there are news that Malaysia reports first H5N1 outbreak in nearly 10 years reported on Mar 08, 2017.  Malaysia today reported its first highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza outbreak since 2007, adding to a long list of countries reporting outbreaks from various subtypes over the past few months. The virus struck backyard chickens in Kelantan state, located in the northeastern part of Malaysia's peninsular region, according to a report from the country's agriculture ministry to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The holding is near Kota Bharu, the state's capital. The outbreak began on Feb 28, killing 15 of 26 village chickens. The remaining birds were culled to control the spread of the virus. Officials also curbed poultry movements and ordered other steps, such as screening and stepped-up surveillance. Investigators have not determined the source of the outbreak. A few other countries in Southeast Asia have reported sporadic H5N1 outbreaks in the first months of this year, including Cambodia and Vietnam. Malaysia's last H5N1 outbreak occurred in 2007 and affected village chickens in Selangor state, also in the peninsular part of the country.
In other avian flu developments, Poland today reported one more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreak, according to a report to the OIE. The event involves a waterfowl found dead on Mar 2 in Weilkopolska province in the west central part of the country. In Austria, an H5N8 detection in a sick pelican at a zoo in Vienna prompted the closure of part of the zoo, according to a statement from the zoo translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog. The pelicans had been kept in a tent since December as a precaution because of ongoing avian flu activity in wild and domestic birds across Europe, which have also affected several zoos. The bird was euthanized, and the partial closure was ordered to protect the zoo's other birds. Thankyou.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Melaka City,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(1 Muharram 1440H).


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

COCONUT PLANTING IN JOHOR

JOHOR STATE  are among top three state growing coconut (Cocos nucifera) from early decade with Selangor and Perak. The Johor government has encouraged oil palm plantation owners to switch to planting coconut trees to reduce issue of importing the nut from other countries by 30% to 40% in the next three to four years. State Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Committee chairman Dr Sharuddin said that the government has been going all out in encouraging more farmers to plant coconuts, as it is also more profitable (See photo above). “We want to encourage more coconut planting as part of integrated farming, which can rake in up to as high as RM6,000 each month if properly planned. “Farmers can opt to grow black pepper or coffee beans below the coconut tree as well as bee-keeping for honey harvesting for an optimum use of land,” he told reporters after visit Coconut Station at Jorak, Pagoh, Muar. Minister of Agriculture, Director General of Agriculture Department and Director General of MPIB attended the visit. He added that to further strengthen the initiative, the government has identified between 8.09 ha and 12.14 ha of land in all district to be utilised for integrated farming. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" report from Muar for local farmers.

The government are currently in talks with the land administrator to identify suitable plots of land to be developed into integrated farms, where each farmer, which will include young entrepreneurs, will receive between 0.404ha to 0.809ha of land. Department will also provide the basic infrastructures such as roads and gating and eventually a marketing centre through an allocation of RM50,000 and we hope to realise this initiative by early next year. Dr Sharuddin added noted that promoting integrated farming was part of the government’s effort to lessen import while still fulfilling the demands of the local market. He said that on average, a monthly supply of about 300,000 coconuts would be needed to cater to the demands of the local market and the number could increase by between 500,000 to 700,000 coconuts during festive seasons. “Currently, we have the capacity to supply only about 200,000 coconuts for the state and so we hope that by encouraging more to plant coconut instead of oil palm, we can cut import by 30% to 40%,” he said, adding that coconuts were imported mostly from Indonesia. ThankYou!!..
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, Bandar Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(31 August 2018).



Sunday, January 6, 2019

PLANT MAWA AND MATAG FOR MORE COCONUTS

"Plant Mawa and Matag for more coconuts"  are a title of a local newspaper in Malaysia recently that attract my attention. Coconut (Cocos nucifera) are the fourth important comodity in Malaysia after Palm oil, Rubber and Paddy. From my observation, small scale coconut planters have been urged to switch from planting the Malayan Tall coconut saplings to the MATAG and MAWA varieties for better yields and higher returns, said Malaysia Nanban (an Indian community newspaper). The paper quoted from Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mah Siew Keong as saying that the smallholders could expect around 14,200 - 14,300 coconuts per hectare from the two varieties. The Malayan Tall can only produce about 1,150 coconuts per hectare. Mah added that the Matag and Mawa varieties could yield around 28,000 - 30,000 coconuts over 20 years, and the Malayan Tall only 7,700 - 9,300 coconuts in the same period. The deputy minister, who was speaking in Bagan Datoh, Perak, said there were about 10,000 small-scale coconut planters in the country and the majority were still planting the Malayan Tall saplings. Mah, who is Teluk Intan MP, said there were about 12,200 hectares of land planted with these coconuts and some of them had been around for more than 40 years. The article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" like to share the issue this time.

Data from Department of Agriculture stated that many of these smallholders had complained that they were just earning about RM350 per hectare from their yield. The planting of the Matag and Mawa varieties as well as another new variety, the sweet Pandan, the coconut planters can expect better yields within five years and better income.  Tamil Nesan reported that schools were now equipped with basic facilities with a conducive environment to inspire students to excel in their studies and extra-curricular activities. This was why, in recent years, Tamil school students had shown better performance in both aspects, said the paper's executive director S. Velpari. He was speaking at a laying of the foundation stone for the Mentari Estate Tamil school in Triang, Pahang.  In Klang, the comment from municipal councillor Alex Thiagarajan warned shopowners along Jalan Tengku Kelana not to block pathways with their goods. Sometime the local political leaders able urged to sterengtened the agriculture issue according to festival. Thank you!!.

Cracking coconut at Thaipusam Festival in Penang.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,

Taman Cendana, Bandar Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia.
(31 August 2108).


 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

NEW PLANTING OF COCONUT (PART 5)

COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) are an important crop in Malaysia and few other ASEAN countries. The  crop are categorised as ''Plant of Life'' from the locals as there are many uses from this plant.  have been receiving quite a few requests of late regarding information in setting-up a coconut plantation. While I would love to write a comprehensive coverage of all aspects involved in establishing a coconut plantation, it will be an enormous undertaking, and something that cannot be covered simply in blog posts.  Instead, I will give some basics of starting a new coconut plantation, the key cost elements and man-power management al all requirements. In Malaysia currently there are about 96,000 hectare of coconut planted able to produce 650 million nuts annually. However Malaysia import 150 million nuts from Indonesia for processing anually.  Actually there are a number of important stages when attempting to set up a successful coconut plantation. Now, a lot of people may think: “What’s so difficult? Just look for a germinated coconut, dig a hole, and plant it!”. Well, that method may work if all you want is a coconut tree, or if the coconuts are meant to be ornamental plants. But for a thriving, production coconut plantation, extra care and consideration will be needed. This few series article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share the stages of planting new coconut farms.

The new coconut planting for Step 5 are the general maintenance of coconut plantation.  Coconut plantations are fairly bare of grasses and weeds during the high productivity years (years 8-18). However, during the immature and late years, when sunlight penetration is high, weeds will be more abundant. For blog writer, nonetheless it is a good practice not to kill off all the weeds and grass, but instead to manage and crop them down. This helps to hold the soil and retain moisture, house beneficial insects, and keep the palm in a good, healthy state. Thus, mowing down the grass and leafy weeds is the suggested option; for broadleaf shrubs, contact weedicides could be used. Chemical fertilizer should be applied to supplement inherent soil nutrients to provide a steady supply of balanced nutrient range required for the healthy growth of palms. The quantity and quality of the fertilizer applied, and their timing and placement, are important aspects to be considered to ensure proper realization of this input. For manuring process there has to follow the recomendation. The manuring regimes are with 2kg Urea, 2kg Muriate of potash (MOP) and 1kg Rock phosphate (RP). Do note that the rates above are for each palm, per year. You will need to split the amount according to how many round of fertilizer application is carried out in a year. It is recommended that at least 4 rounds be carried out, i.e. 500g urea + 500g MOP + 250g RP per application; but preferably, 8 rounds is ideal , i.e. 250g urea + 250g MOP + 125g RP per application. The activity during manuring must able to avoid spreading the fertilizer to broadly. It is important that the fertilizers are applied within the root zone area. One trick that many growers do is to spread some of the fertilizer over the frond heap stacked at the inter-palm area. As the frond heap traps a lot of moisture and organic nutrients, coconut roots tend to congregate beneath the heap. Thus, applying some fertilizer onto the heap would target the coconut roots there, thereby feeding the palms more efficiently. Fertilizer must spread-out frond heap between each palm. 

Another important note is that the fertilizer rates above is not fixed, and will vary according to soil type, productivity, foliar nutrient status, age, and yield targets. But of course, not all growers will have access to the necessary analytical equipment, so engage a government agriculture extension officer for further advice when necessary. Coconuts are normally self-pruning, meaning that dead fronds and bunch stalks will dry and fall on their accord. However, it is still a good practice to remove them off the palm where they don’t fall naturally, and stack them neatly on the inter-palm heap. There is great value in keeping this practice; as the dead fronds and bunch stalks break down, they actually release micronutrients back into the soil. This helps increase the soil nutrient content and biomass over time, which will further improve your coconut palm’s health. In addition, such frond heaps act as moisture traps, and help provide an alternate source of moisture to palm roots. As mentioned earlier, fertilizers may also be applied to this zone, as the coconut root mass tends to congregate here, thereby ensuring that your fertilizer is targeted to the roots of the palms. The article continue for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 6 respectively. Thank You!!.



By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor Bahru, Johor,
Malaysia.
(3 September 2018). 

Monday, December 3, 2018

NEW PLANTING OF COCONUT (PART 3)

COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) are an important crop in Malaysia and few other ASEAN countries. The  crop are categorised as ''Plant of Life'' from the locals as there are many uses from this plant.  have been receiving quite a few requests of late regarding information in setting-up a coconut plantation. While I would love to write a comprehensive coverage of all aspects involved in establishing a coconut plantation, it will be an enormous undertaking, and something that cannot be covered simply in blog posts.  Instead, I will give some basics of starting a new coconut plantation, the key cost elements and man-power management al all requirements. In Malaysia currently there are about 96,000 hectare of coconut planted able to produce 650 million nuts annually. However Malaysia import 150 million nuts from Indonesia for processing anually.  Actually there are a number of important stages when attempting to set up a successful coconut plantation. Now, a lot of people may think: “What’s so difficult? Just look for a germinated coconut, dig a hole, and plant it!”. Well, that method may work if all you want is a coconut tree, or if the coconuts are meant to be ornamental plants. But for a thriving, production coconut plantation, extra care and consideration will be needed. This few series article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share the stages of planting new coconut farms.

The new coconut planti next steps are Step 2: Setting up a coconut seedling nursery. This is an aspect in coconut planting that seems to be often neglected. After all, coconuts seem to grow so commonly and with ease in this country. For me however, as with all crops of economic value, starting the crop on the right foot is the most important step towards a successful farming enterprise. If one is unable or not willing to make the effort to do so, then they should not venture into agriculture in the first place. It would impractical for most coconut planters to germinate their own coconut seedlings, since doing this would require a lot of time, effort, space and technical expertise. Thus, it would be best for the coconut farmer to source his/her coconut "seednuts" from a certified seed producer. I have already mentioned few previously.  Usually, seednuts are sold as emergents where these would have a growing point of about 30cm height (up to emergent leaf), and very few emerging roots at the base. With certified seed producers, culling and selection of salable seednuts would have already been conducted, so the farmer may buy such materials with confidence. Seednuts will be sold as bareroots, and the farmer will need to purchase and prepare his/her coconut seedlings at least 1 year prior to field planting. Seednuts that are purchased must first be transplanted into polybags and allowed to grow to the ideal field planting sizes. The following series of transplanting steps show how this should be done:  Step 1: Place seednut into polybag half-filled with soil, Step 2: Top up with more soil and Step 3: Firm down the soil, leaving a little bit of husk exposed.

Polybag sizes should be 45cm x 45cm (lay flat), and need to be 500-gauge black with perforations. Do note that for optimized transplanting of seednuts, the polybags should be half-filled 3 days in advance and watered daily, to allow settling of the soil. Once seednuts have been transplanted, make sure to water the seedling adequately. Each seedling will require 2,500ml of water per day in the absence of rain, which can be achieved by water for 30 minutes twice a day (morning & evening) using a sprinkler system. Otherwise, hand-watering using a measured water can is advised. Spacing in the nursery should be 1m x 1m equilateral triangle, amounting to 4,000 plams per acre. But since you will only need less than 100 palms for each acre (71 seedlings if planting hybrid + 10% for supply planting; 88 seedlings if planting Dwarf + 10% for supply planting), you should adjust this figure accordingly. Seedlings are maintained in the nursery up to 1 year before field planting.  Temporary coconut seedling nursery, 6-months old from sowing. From my observation a lot of farmers don't bother with these steps; but there are many good reasons for keeping this practice. Not only will the older and more mature seedlings be quicker to establish, they are also less susceptible to stunting and transplanting shock in the field compared to seednuts that are planted directly into the ground. In particular, the root system of a 1-year old seedling is better developed and robust, compared to a 6-month old seednut. You have to bear in mind that every palm you plant is a 25-30 year investment, so make sure the first steps are the right ones, or you will be stuck with a 25-year long mistake. The article continue for Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 respectively. Thank You!!.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor Bahru, Johor,
Malaysia.
(3 September 2018).