JOM SOKONG BLOG

KLIK SAYA...

Thursday, June 4, 2020

NEW RAMBUTAN VARIETY IN MALAYSIA

NEW RAMBUTAN VARIETY in Malaysia by MARDI!.... It was a result of Mardi’s research yields sweeter rambutans. News release at Sintok, Kedah whereby Malaysians will soon be tasting two new rambutan varieties - Mutiara Merah and Mutiara Wangi which were the result of research by the Malaysian Agricultural Research Development Institute (Mardi). The two new clones were launched here recently by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub. Developed by plant breeder Dr Johari Sarip, the two new clones are said to bear fruits within two years of planting. The trees from these clones are also known to bear shadier branches and leaves. According to Mardi, the fruit pulp is thicker and is sweeter than the currently available varieties. “These salient features of the new clones will give a lucrative income for farmers and is expected to be more competitive in the market,” the minister said after the launch. The rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae. The term “rambutan” also refers to the edible fruit produced by this tree. It is native to the Indo-Malay archipelago and is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, and mamoncillo. 


The name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay-Indonesian languages word for rambut or “hair”, a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit. In Vietnam, it is called chôm (meaning “messy hair”) due to the spines covering the fruit’s skin. Though native to tropical Southeast Asia, rambutan is commonly grown in various countries throughout the region. It has also spread from Southeast Asia to other parts of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Central America. However, the widest variety of cultivars, wild and cultivated, are found only in Indonesia and Malaysia. Around the 13th to 15th centuries, Arab traders, who played a major role in Indian Ocean trade, introduced rambutan into Zanzibar and Pemba in East Africa. There are limited rambutan plantings in some parts of India as well. In the 19th century, the Dutch introduced the fruit from their colony in Southeast Asia to Suriname in South America. Subsequently, the plant spread to the tropical Americas, planted in the coastal lowlands of Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and Cuba. It was only introduced to neighbouring Philippines from Indonesia in 1912.  Further introductions were made in 1920 (from Indonesia) and 1930 (from Malaya), but until the 1950s its distribution was limited. There was an attempt to introduce rambutan to the southeastern United States, with seeds imported from Java in 1906, but the species proved to be unsuccessful, except in Puerto Rico. Thank You.

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

Monday, May 25, 2020

EXOTICA PAPAYA - FROM MALAYSIA!!!

PAPAYA (Carica papaya Linn.) or commonly known as papaya, is a major tropical crop consumed worldwide either as a vegetable or fresh fruit or processed products. In Malaysia, papaya was initially planted as a smallholder crop throughout the country. Eventually after 15 years of breeding and selection currently a new papaya variety named as the  C. papaya L. var. Eksotika, was released by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) in 1987. This event changed the outlook of papaya planting from a smallholder crop to a plantation crop. Despite the blooming papaya business, the industry faced various disease issues that jeopardize its future. The most devastating was the papaya dieback disease, which affected approximately 800 hectares of plantation, destroyed approximately 1 million trees nationwide with total losses estimated at US$ 58 million. Even though Eksotika is a favored commercial variety with good eating and aesthetic quality fruit, its potential for more lucrative distant markets is tarnished with its short-shelf life fruits. Several strategies had been reported to address the challenges faced by Eksotika specifically against the dieback disease and the fruit’s short shelf-life. This review focuses on C. papaya L. var. Eksotika particularly on the strategies to address the challenges faced in order to sustain the economic value of this crop plant, which had contributed significantly to the Malaysian economy.


Malaysia are in the era of a technological revolution that is transforming our lifestyles at an exponential pace, transcending the boundaries that separate the physical, digital, and biological spheres. The existence of cyber infrastructure, big data management and data mining capabilities warrant careful planning and coordination in order to capture valuable resources for our respective research. As all these cyber technologies evolve around us, the basic problems pertaining to agricultural crops will still persist, only this time the solutions are more in-depth and can be solved at a faster pace since access to knowledge has become unlimited. The journey of Eksotika papaya research (summarized in is without doubt tough but still rewarding. The huge economic losses became an impetus and motivation for researchers to find a solution to sustain the papaya industry. Even though there is yet a long-term solution to the dieback problem, fundamental groundwork had been initiated with frontier technologies incorporated in short-, mid-, and long-term strategies by different research groups to address the challenge. The availability of the -omics databases (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) will ultimately make it feasible to tackle the challenges more effectively by providing a more comprehensive data sets to gain novel insights into the principles of biological systems. It is with great hope, though, that such frontier technologies will be made cheaper in future to allow a wider coverage of the subject matter under scrutiny. Thanks!....
By,
M Anim,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(2 Syawal 1441Hijrah)
25 May 2020.



Wednesday, May 13, 2020

FOOD CRISIS DUE TO COVID19 MAY HIT MALAYSIA

It was reported that Food crisis may hit Malaysia due to Covid-19 pandemic. Currently Malaysia’s food import bill is a whopping RM50 billion every year. For a country that has vast arable land, it is a wasted opportunity that it not to be used for food production. The Covid-19 pandemic poses greater problems as the lockdown imposed by several countries has greatly affected the global supply chain. India, from which we buy a lot of onions from, is in lockdown and this has affected the supply of one of Malaysia’s most important commodities. Wheat import from Australia is also affected due to the lockdown. But what is most alarming is the Mekong river problem affecting countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, two of our most important food exporters. The proliferation of dams along the Mekong river, coupled with climate change, has drastically increased the pollution of salt water into the Mekong, destroying aquaculture and agriculture production, especially rice in these countries. As a result, these countries could not serve export capacity and are forced to look inwards to feed the local population. For this reason, Vietnam has cancelled its export contracts. The implication for Malaysia is serious. For a country who depends largely on commodity imports, this is a dire situation. “In these difficult times, we need to turn back to our local producers to give them the support that they need to increase production. Multinational food companies will not weather our storm, but our local producers can,” International Strategy Institute (ISI) Chairman Cheah Chyuan Yong said today.

For this reason, ISI has launched the mymakanan.my food project. It reported that Mymakanan.my is the ‘yellow pages’ for all local basic food producers in the country to help them sell their produce to people all over the country. “It includes basic food such as meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, cooking ingredients and dried items. Local producers can also list the produce themselves on mymakanan.my. Malaysians can search for all kinds of basic food in various towns and regions of the country. They can contact these producers and deal with them directly.” During the pandemic, these producers, who used to sell to big supermarkets, find it difficult to sell their products, and end up throwing the food away, such as the Cameron Highland farmers. By informing Malaysians about local sources of food, mymakanan.my are giving local producers a critical bloodline to survive and continue producing more. This helps incentivise local food production and hopefully help our country survive this looming food crisis.
Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Federal Teritory Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(20 Ramadan 1441H).

Saturday, May 2, 2020

PULL-APART PINEAPPLE VARIETY

A latest pineapple (Ananas comosus) variety in Malaysia has been grown in Kelantan locallny known asa "Nanas Cobek" eith the meaniinga by others as "Nenas Cubit". This latest Pull-apart pineapple able to increase farmers income as the demand are increasing after viral introduction. Although just entering the market, ‘nanas cobek’ (a pull-apart pineapple variety) which has been successful in other countries could also be a lucrative crop for farmers here. Kelantan’s sole grower, Mohd Ali Daim Ibrahim, said the juicy and sweet pineapple which can fetch a top price of RM10 per kg is unique because it doesn’t need to be peeled, with ripe fruitlets simply pulled away using one’s fingers which even a child could do without difficulty. He claimed that he got his pineapple (seeds) from suppliers in a few countries including a neighbouring country. His expectation will be able to get his first big-scale harvest early next year. Prior to this he planted the fruit on a trial basis and it has brought added value to the MD2 pineapple I’ve been growing for the past two years. He told reporters visiting his 12ha farm in Pulau Kerbau today where he also grows crops like corn and watermelon.

He said he grows the two types of pineapple over more than 2ha of land and believes he will be able to make at least RM350,000 from them. He said the pull-apart pineapple can grow to almost 2kg, can sell for close to RM20 each currently and is in high demand. Mohd Ali said he received guidance from the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) for best results in planting. Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (Kada) chairman, Datuk Husam Musa, who also came on the farm visit, said he wants farmers to cash in on pineapple farming and that Kada will gladly help them. “We have an allocation of RM2 million and anyone who is interested in pineapple farming can apply,” he said. He urged farmers to put idle land to good use by planting pineapple and hopes LPNM will provide assistance to farmers with marketing, too. Pineapple farming could be a sweet deal for producers and consumers because pineapple plant waste can be turned into cattle feed pellets which produce good fat in cows. The future of fresh [ineaple market cherish with this latest 'Nanas Cobek' introduction to local market. Thanks. 

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11F, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(22 January 2020).

Thursday, April 23, 2020

COCONUT AND LDL CHOLESTEROL

Growing coconut in Malaysia (Cocos  nucifera) is the forth important after Oil Palm, Rubber and Paddy. Total area of 84,000 hectare of matured coconut are grown to produce more than 650 million nuts annually especially in Johore, Selangor, Perak and Sabah region. The usage of coconut product are vast. Coconut oil consumption leads to higher levels of LDL cholesterol compared with other vegetable oils, according to a new meta-analysis. In contrast to popular belief, coconut oil also was not linked to lower rates of inflammation, glycemia, or adiposity, leading experts to discourage its use. Scientist in Malaysia always been kind of flabbergasted by this popular culture fascination with coconut oil when it's one of the most fatty substances on the planet, and I think this study confirms some of those things we've seen play out in smaller individual studies as well. The confusion has stemmed from widespread claims that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are based on smaller studies from geographically isolated populations, she said.  In a study by Local University found that a lot of that the sort of took out of context and from what other components are available in those populations' diets. And then people are just naturally always looking for something that's marketed as being natural or different in processing, so many people think they're flocking to those things and maybe misinterpreting what healthy really product from coconut. 

Local researchers embarked on this study because of how widely coconut oil is promoted in the press as being beneficial. Claim to be given the many claims of health benefits,  one would expect there is substantial evidence from clinical trials in humans that supports these claims. From that perspective, it is surprising that this scientific support for these claims is lacking. However based on a more detailed understanding of the fatty acid composition of coconut oil and the biology of these fatty acids our findings are not surprising. As comparisons to other oils the effects of at least 2 weeks of coconut oil consumption with other non tropical vegetable oils or palm oil on cardiovascular risk factors. In total, eight trials reported on body weight, five on body fat, four on waist circumference, four on fasting plasma glucose, and five on C-reactive protein. Compared with non tropical vegetable oils, coconut oil significantly increased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol but not triglycerides, body measurements, glycemia, or C-reactive protein. So local still believe that the cooking oil and other product produced in Malaysia still has a high demand at par with palm oil as healthy foods.
Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronoomist,
Precint 11F, Putrajaya,
Federal Teritory,
Malaysia.
(21 January 2010).

Thursday, April 2, 2020

HOW TO CHOOSE PERFECT PINEAPPLES

For me, pineapples (Ananas comosus) is a popular fruit and good for health. Pineapples also known as a vibrant taste of the tropics that are good for much more than garnishing piña coladas and mai tais and eating on their own or chopped up in fruit salad. But that’s only if you get one that is perfectly ripe - bright yellow, sweet, and so full of juice that, according to Chowhound user Veggo, “they almost explode like water balloons.” But since it’s so difficult to ship ripe pineapples, the ones we find in grocery stores are often at least somewhat hard and green. So how do you know which pineapple to pick?.  The conventional classic signs of a ripe pineapple are a golden color (“You should see a healthy yellowing happening from the bottom to as much as midway up the pineapple skin,” says HillJ; the more uniformly yellow-gold, the better), a sweet aroma, a slight give to the skin, and a leaf that pulls easily from the crown. However you can use your Nose (Hidung in Malay). In the Dole website says neither color nor loosely attached leaves are actually good indicators of ripeness, but you can pretty much always trust your nose: You’ll know a good pineapple when you smell it. You want a sweet, full fragrance, with no sharp or funky notes. If you can’t detect a scent, pass it up (or risk being disappointed).

The ability identify is by look for Big Eyes. Look for large eyes (the knots on a pineapple) as well, especially if they’re large near the crown as well as all around the body, as this indicates the fruit had a longer time to ripen on the tree and once it’s picked, it won’t ripen any further. Instead, it will just begin to degrade, with the starches converting to sugar. The other way is to watchout for Overripe Pineapple. If there’s already juice oozing from the bottom of the pineapple, it’s past its prime, and if it smells tangy or sharp, it’s probably begun to ferment and won’t taste good. It should feel fairly firm - not rock-hard, but not really soft either; too much give indicates it’s breaking down from the inside out. The other issue about pineapple isi to store Pineapple Fruits and suckers. If you’re not ready to eat your pineapple right away, store it in the fridge to keep it fresh, then cut it up as suits your needs. Then sombebody will asks, how to Cut Pineapple?. If you need help with your plan of attack, see our guide on how to cut a pineapple. You may be tempted to try that “pulling apart a pineapple” trick you’ve probably seen on Instagram, but beware: even if your fruit is super ripe, it’s harder than it looks!. Hardwork and passionate able ti produce good quality pineapple fruits. Thanks.


By,
Mohd Anim.
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
WP, Malaysia.
(20 December 2019).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

HOW TO KNOW THE PINEAPPLE RIPE?

PINEAPPLES (Ananas comosus) are one of the most popular tropical fruit in the world.  Smell the pineapple and then flip the pineapple over and sniff the stem end. A sweet scent is generally considered the most important aspect of choosing a ripe pineapple. If it has no scent, it's probably not ripe. You can try smelling the pineapple from other sides; a sweet enough scent may be distinguishable from any side of the fruit. You should still be able to smell the scent from the stem end, however, where it will likely be strongest. Avoid pineapples that smell fermented. Although you want the pineapple to smell sweet, you do not want it to be so ripe that the sweet smell has an alcoholic or vinegar-like taint to it. Then you can squeeze the pineapple. Lightly squeeze the pineapple using the fingers of one hand. You want the pineapple to be pretty firm, but soft enough that it gives very slightly when you press down on it. To determine whether or not the pineapple is heavy. A heavier pineapple means a juicier pineapple, because the extra juice gives the pineapple extra weight. More juice also means a riper, sweeter pineapple. Note that "heavier" doesn't mean "larger." The pineapple should feel heavy when compared to others of equal size. If a larger pineapple feels just as heavy as a slightly smaller one, the smaller one is probably a better pick. So to pluck a leaf from the top of the pineapple. While public opinion is conflicted over the efficacy of this method, some people believe that a pineapple is ripe when a leaf can be plucked from the top of the pineapple without too much resistance. If a leaf comes out too easily, however, the pineapple may be rotten. 

How should a ripe pineapple smell? It will be either Sweet, Like vinegar, Slightly fermented, Faintly sweet or Using Sight. Must be alert for the two key elements of a ripe pineapple: freshness and may occur deterioration. You are looking for a fresh pineapple, not a rotting one. The stem is the area of the pineapple that feeds sugar to the fruit. It is from here that the pineapple changes color. Second is to look at the pineapple's color. It will often reflect a golden-yellow color, but a green-tinted pineapple is not necessarily unripe. 
Be aware that some pineapples are considered to be ripe when still partially green, but the pineapple should not be all green or all brown. You should also place more emphasis on the pineapple's healthy appearance. As a general rule, the yellow coloration should be visible on the eyes at the base of the fruit. Color that rises further up the pineapple usually indicates a sweeter fruit. Third is to focus on the color of the leaves. Because the color of the fruit itself can be either golden-yellow or green, looking at the leaf color might be a better option. Choose pineapples with healthy, green leaves. Fourth is to check out the shape of the pineapple. Pineapples should be well developed with rounded edges and developed eyes. The eyes are the spiked centers of the rough circles created by the geometric pattern on the pineapple. Make sure that the eyes have filled out and are relatively flat. Avoid pineapples with wrinkled skin, reddish-brown skin, cracks or leaks, mold, or brown withering leaves, as these are all signs of a rotten fruit. Lastly is to choose pineapples from the growing location closest to you. For instance, if you live in California, Hawaiian or Mexican pineapples will probably be the freshest because they traveled the shortest distance from the plantation to your supermarket.
Thanks to continue reading!.
By,
M Anim,
Senior Agronomist,
Department of Agriculture,Putrajaya, 
Federal Teritory,
Malaysia.
(26 December 2019).