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Monday, May 21, 2018

FUTURE AGRICULTURE IN MALAYSIA (Part 4)

Malaysia has been very successful in developing the country through organized and focused economic development plans. Globally, Malaysia has been ranked sixth in 2014 on Ease of Doing Business, 20th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2014- 2015, 33rd in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014 and 56th in the World Happiness Index (2013). These indicators have proven that Malaysia is capable to promote a new orientation of development focusing towards sustainability and inclusiveness. The development of a nation relies on its citizen’s wellbeing. One of the important factors of citizen’s wellbeing is food production. Food is the backbone of the society. Realising this, the Malaysian government has taken steps to ensure that there is enough food for its population. The emphasis is on self-sustainability. The agro-ecosystem management and agricultural planning has been revamped to ensure sustainability and to include green-friendly values and equitable and inclusiveness of all stake holders. Sustainable development must be inclusive enough to cater and address the population’s wider needs for food, feed, fuel, fibre, furniture, pharmaceuticals and felicity. Constraints such as high implementation cost, and pressing health and environmental concerns require governments to plan their agriculture development towards being trim, mean, focused, not wasteful, savvy, and compliant to the global environmental and health standards. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share some basic information with all readers.


Opportunity in Food Security

Realizing the changing trends and understanding the problems facing food security can create opportunity for better frameworks and plans. It is estimated that almost 1 billion of the world population are depending on farming for their livelihood and source of food and nutrition. This intensifies the need for the development of the agro ecosystem by implementing new ideas for better produces, such as biotechnology in agriculture. Malaysia has invested RM86.8 million in biotechnology to improve crop yield and increase resistance to environment stress. Malaysia’s target is to scale-up and strengthen productivity of paddy farming from 4MT/ha/season (4 metric tonne per hector per season) to 8MT/ha/season by 2020 by utilising improved mechanisation in paddy farming through biotechnology.

Technology in Food Security

Global Positioning System (GPS) – the idea of using GPS is to allow farmers to work during low visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, fog, and darkness by giving the position of the agriculture land. GPS helps in three aspects of production, namely data collection of information input through satellite data, grid soil sampling, yield monitoring and remote sensing. For Geographic Information System (GIS) - GIS enables the coupling of real-time data collection with accurate position information, leading to efficient manipulation and analysis of large amounts of geospatial data. These data assist farmers to make informed decisions and to be more efficient in agriculture activities. Fir the Inter Cropping the growing of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field. This approach helps to reduce both time and space utilization. However, inter cropping requires skilled labourers as it deals with two or more crops. The use of Hybrid Seed because Hybrid seed is being introduced to increase the efficiency and optimizing productivity of plant, as well as to ensure the sustainability of plant production and to create friendly environment.

Environment sustainability

Globally the agriculture contributes 17-30 percent to Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To lessen the agricultural impact on environment, steps are taken to grow quality and quantity of natural resources that could reduce emissions per tonne of production and optimize overall water usage. For the issues and challenges in future environment sustainability. The Green House Gas (GHG) in Agriculture production, especially meat produce, causes greenhouse gas impact on the environment. Research has concluded that if current trends continue, food production alone will reach, if not exceed, the global expectation for total GHG emissions in 2050. As the world’s population increases and diet preference shifts towards meat-heavy, particularly in western diet, the effect of greenhouse gas emissions could accelerate faster than expected to harm the environment and human.


Resource utilization

In the case of resource utilization it is estimated that cropland will expend by 42 percent by 2050. However, the expansion would not bring any benefit if not effectively utilised and managed. Currently, it has been identified that 198 million hectare of land with about the size of Mexico is used to produce food that are not being consumed. Resources management is not only about effective utilisation, but includes the management of activities to avoid harming the environment. For example, efficient usage of water in farming, and the usage of fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide that improves agriculture production but does not pollute the environment.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Room 1807, Imperial Heritage Hotel,
Bandar Hilir, Melaka,
Malaysia.
(19 RabiulAwal 1439H)

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