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Saturday, September 24, 2016

ANCHOR COMPANY PERSPECTIVE AND ROLE IN ENHANCING THE MALAYSIAN SEED INDUSTRY

ANCHOR COMPANY PERSPECTIVE AND ROLE IN ENHANCING THE MALAYSIAN SEED INDUSTRY 
Lim Kiang Ping
Green World Genetics Sdn. Bhd.
Email : kiangping.lim@gwgenetics.com

Agriculture industry is important to a country; through the development of the seed industry the agriculture industry can be enhance in order to achieve food security and self-sufficiency. As the anchor company appointed under EPP 14, Green World Genetics Sdn. Bhd. (GWG) has taken actions to overcome some of these challenges and help to build a better seed industry in Malaysia. Malaysia has an estimated population of 31 million people and a seed industry worth roughly RM 50-60 million. More than 95% of the seeds used by local growers are imported. Hence there is a need to breed and also strengthen the local seed production system.Breeding is a tedious process and it takes years to develop a new variety. GWG has currently embarked into breeding varieties for local needs. To achieve this, 5 plant breeders, more than 30 seed producers, 20 agronomists and 7 technical sales persons have been deployed. Resources such as land, funds, germplasm etc., are important for the breeding program. GWG has established strategic partnership and linkages with both governmental institutions and private sectors. Policy and regulation is another important issue for the seed industry. Policy is the direction set by the government to develop the industry whereas regulation refers to the rules that govern seed industry. The food supply chain is a vital element in enhancing the seed industry. The supply chain in Malaysia is made up of seed distributor/dealer, growers, packer/processor, trader, retailer and consumer. The direction for seed breeding should be based on the requirements on each component in order to benefit and harmonize the entire supply chain. To date, despite being involved in agriculture for a very long time, the Malaysian seed industry particularly in the vegetables sub-sector is considered very young. GWG, as the anchor company shoulder the responsibility of not only producing high quality seeds but also to foresee future challenges and advise the policy makers to lead our seed industry into a more prosperous era and increase the country’s GDP. 
Keywords: Green World Genetics, seed industry, food supply chain.




Posted by:
M Anem,

Senior Agronomist (NSAM Members)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(24 August 2016)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

CMDV - ADVANCEMENT IN MOLECULAR MARKERS



ADVANCEMENT IN MOLECULAR MARKERS FOR CROP IMPROVEMENT AND VARIETAL IDENTIFICATION

Norzihan Abdullah* & Shahril Ab Razak
Centre for Marker Discovery and Validation (CMDV),

Centre for Technical and Laboratory Services, MARDI Headquarter,
43400, Serdang, Selangor.
*Email : zihan@mardi.gov.my
The advancement in sequencing and genotyping technologies has enable extensive study in plant genomic research especially in the area of molecular marker. The availability of various types of molecular markers enable scientists and breeders to conduct their research depending on their objective and budget. Currently, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) have become the markers of choice owing to their advantages compared to other type of molecular markers. Exploitation of molecular marker polymorphism gives a significant impact in crop improvement and varietal identification. In Malaysia, Centre for Marker Discovery and Validation (CMDV) which was equipped with high-throughput genotyping platforms has been actively involved in molecular marker research. CMDV has successfully introgressed disease and pest resistant genes into Malaysian commercial cultivated rice varieties (MR219 and MR269) using marker assisted breeding (MAB) technology. This technology provides fast and high accuracy in plant selection compared to conventional breeding. CMDV has also developed a fingerprinting panel for Malaysian rice, pineapples, coconut, durian, papaya, other commercial and perennial crops which could be used for cultivar identification and authentication. With the availability of high-throughput genotyping technology at CMDV, it is hoped that, scientists and breeders will take this opportunity to enhance their breeding programme through MAB technology and subsequently increase their agriculture produces.




Posted by,
M Anem,
NSAM Members,
Hotel Sama-sama,
KLIS, Sepang,
Selangor, Malaysia.
(24 Auugust 2016)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

FOUR DECADES OF NATIONAL SEED SYMPOSIUM


TRIBUTE : FOUR DECADES OF NATIONAL SEED SYMPOSIUM (1976 - 2016) HISTORY,PROGRESS AND ACHIEVEMENTS 
By, H.F.Chin, Department of Crop Science, UPM, Bioversity International ,Email : h.chin@cgiar.org


The first National Seed Symposium was organized by the Faculty Of Agriculture and held at Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) on 4 th February 1976. This was well attended by over a hundred local participants and few from overseas. This symposium of 4 days included field trips and seed exhibition. They were officiated opened and closed by the Minister of Agriculture and closed by the Minister of Energy, Technology and Research. Forty years ago, this symposium was considered a success and served as a model for subsequent ones. The journey down memory lane of four decades is over. It is time to celebrate our Ruby Jubilee (1976 - 2016). This long journey was not that comfortable, simple and straight. There were bumps here and there, hence, the second symposium was revived after a period of 18 years and third, another 6 years. A seed organization, society or association need to be established. So the Malaysian Association of Seed Technology (MAST) was proposed and was found to be not suitable. Finally an alternative National Seed Association of Malaysia (NSAM) was proposed, forwarded to the Registrar of Society and finally after 32 years from the first seed symposium, it was approved and launched on 25 th February 2008. Since then, every two years, we have a National Seed Symposium 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2016 this month. 

 

Wellcome first seed sympodium in 1976 by Prof Chin at UPM.

With the establishment of NSAM, there is both national and international recognition. It is now the voice of the seed industry and its role is recognized. Locally, a number of institutions and government have recognized our services, teaching, running workshops and advising services. We are also represented in the National Seed Council (NSC). Internationally, we are members of Asian Pacific Seed Association (APSA). We had organized the APSA Seed Congress in KL Hilton, and members have received special awards. Locally, our members have contributed to a number of government departments like SIRIM for formulating seed standards and help to conduct courses at different levels. In particular, we have been giving courses in seed science and technology for a few decades and provide the sources of manpower in the Department og Agriculture, Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) and seed industry. In the future with further growth in manpower, greater interest with more resources and closer linkage.


Posted by:
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist (NSAM Members),
Hotel Sama-sama,
KLIA, Sepang,
Selangor, Malaysia.
(24 August, 2016)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

SEED LECTURE 2016 - TECHNOLOGY TRAINING


THE MULTIFACETED SEED TECHNOLOGY TRAINING: HOW BRIGHT IS THE FUTURE
Mohammed Selamat, M*. And Mohammad, M.L.
Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
*Email : mohd.selamat@ums.edu.my 

This paper discusses the various aspects, uses or abilities of the seed technology training programs for the Malaysian scenario and, to objectively evaluate the future undertakings of seed technology training programs, whether the programs in fulfilling the nation’s mission in building its vission. We need to approach the Seed Technology Training Needs based on a number of complex deciplines in order to fulfill the two important taglines of our Malaysian Agricultural related programs and activities. It has been for more than a decade that we used to uplift the agricultural contributions for the economics of the country by telling the Malaysian citizens and consumers that ‘Agriculture is business’. Along with that tagline we also aspire another closely related tagline, particularly for those engaged in the agricultural seed industry. The tagline of ‘Seed is Business’. Definitely both two taglines are in tendem with Food Security and Seed Security. The discussion will cover only those training related to plant or crop seed categories. Although no efforts are made to discuss the scopes of ‘seed’ as currently defined under the Malaysian scenario where fish and livestock ‘seed’ are grouped under the same seed council definition. Since the aims of either ‘agriculture’ or ‘seed’ are to play the roles as businesses, providing trainings at various levels or categories for seed technologies and agricultural technologies, we must include the elements of trainings, not only supporting the technical aspects of seed production technologies and agricultural production technologies but equivalently important are those elements of trainings on the various aspects of business.



The questions we like to discuss here is, where are we now, after spending four decades organising National Seed Symposia, especially in the seed technology training areas. Do we have enough systematic training for seed technology that can be benefitted or utiliseable by the industry. We have the opinion that it is now very timely that we should strengthen our agricultural technology training syllabus or model and more so the Seed Technology training model/syllabus. We are yet to have a dedicated Institute/centre/Unit in 8ocusing training and education for seed industry sector. The need for a multifaceted seed technology training programs will be elaborated in this paper by referring to some selected models world wide. We will also discuss the currently used approaches to create a business environments which include the agropreneurship, technopreneurship and to relate them to the Multifaceted model for Seed Technology.


Posted by:
M Anem
Senior Agronomist
Hotel Sama-sama,
KLIA, Sepang,
Selangor, Malaysia.
(24 Ogos 2016)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

PRECISION AGRICULTURE - SOME INFO


What Is Precision Agriculture?. The defination of Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops. The goal of precision agriculture is to more efficiently apply a farm’s limited resources to gain maximum yield. A primary method for doing that is to minimize variability of crop health within and across fields. To learn more about precision agriculture, read this excellent overview published by The Economist. Due to its nature, precision agriculture requires a LOT of data to work. The three main types of data include Geo-tagged images, Visible and multi-spectral aerial images taken of fields and over time it needs the drones play. It also include specific equipment performance and a real time feedback or logs provided by sensor-equipped manned and unmanned equipment such as seeders, spreaders, tractors and combines. The ability of management data such as crop yield and other data provided by farm operators. Recently the use of precision agriculture technologies is growing very quickly, globally, as part of the effective technology to increase food production. Developed country currently are the mos user in precision agriculture operated by private sectors, individual farmers and agencies.

Where Do Drones Fit in Precision Agriculture?. Drones are really just a new, high-precision way to obtain geo-tagged images from the air. Compared with other aerial survey methods, drones generate more precise and more frequent data about the condition of crops. This data is used in many ways to improve the performance of a farm’s operation. For surveying fields of less than 50 hectares in size, drones are cheaper than manned aircraft surveillance, manned scouting and satellite imaging. Some claim that the new FAA rules will restrict the usefulness of drones for agriculture, because under the new Part 107 rules in certain USA , all observation and measurement must be taken by a drone that is within visual line of site (VLOS) of the operator. This becomes an issue for fields and farms that are bigger than VLOS. But the vast majority of farms don’t have this problem. According to this report, there are approximately 2.1 million farms in America. The average size is 434 acres. Small family farms, averaging 231 acres, make up 88 percent, meaning that 1.85 million farms can benefit immediately from ag drones.

Drones are used to gather a variety of image-based data about the condition of crops, fields and livestock including data such as plant height, plant count, plant health, presence of nutrients, presence of disease, presence of weeds, relative biomass estimates and the 3D / volumetric data (piles, patches, holes and hills). Normally for livestock operations, drones can be used to monitor the location, status and movement of animals over time with more frequency and at a lower cost than other means. Drone data is used to do farming jobs more effectively and efficiently, including the activity such as Crop Scouting (replace men with drones:, Crop Health Monitoring (it was the biggest ROI by far),
Field Surveying/Scouting (before planting), Nitrogen Recommendation, Yield Monitoring, Plant Stress Monitoring, Drought Assessment. Senescence Analysis, Leaf Area Indexing Activity, Phenology, Tree Classification and more. Usually to take quick action, orthomosaic images generated by drones can be fed into an agricultural program likeSMS by Ag Leader, SST Summit®, FarmRite®, Stratus®, Sirrus®” or other software tools to createprescription maps. Prescription maps inform the farm operator where & what specific actions are needed, such as increasing or decreasing nitrogen spread on trouble spots. Prescription maps can be transferred directly into a precision applicator (sprayer) like a John Deere. This information gethered from various sources. Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Pulau Banggi, Sabah,
Malaysia.
(Visit potential estates by FELCRA).

PRECISION AGRICULTURE - SOME INFO


What Is Precision Agriculture?. The defination of Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops. The goal of precision agriculture is to more efficiently apply a farm’s limited resources to gain maximum yield. A primary method for doing that is to minimize variability of crop health within and across fields. To learn more about precision agriculture, read this excellent overview published by The Economist. Due to its nature, precision agriculture requires a LOT of data to work. The three main types of data include Geo-tagged images, Visible and multi-spectral aerial images taken of fields and over time it needs the drones play. It also include specific equipment performance and a real time feedback or logs provided by sensor-equipped manned and unmanned equipment such as seeders, spreaders, tractors and combines. The ability of management data such as crop yield and other data provided by farm operators. Recently the use of precision agriculture technologies is growing very quickly, globally, as part of the effective technology to increase food production. Developed country currently are the mos user in precision agriculture operated by private sectors, individual farmers and agencies.

Where Do Drones Fit in Precision Agriculture?. Drones are really just a new, high-precision way to obtain geo-tagged images from the air. Compared with other aerial survey methods, drones generate more precise and more frequent data about the condition of crops. This data is used in many ways to improve the performance of a farm’s operation. For surveying fields of less than 50 hectares in size, drones are cheaper than manned aircraft surveillance, manned scouting and satellite imaging. Some claim that the new FAA rules will restrict the usefulness of drones for agriculture, because under the new Part 107 rules in certain USA , all observation and measurement must be taken by a drone that is within visual line of site (VLOS) of the operator. This becomes an issue for fields and farms that are bigger than VLOS. But the vast majority of farms don’t have this problem. According to this report, there are approximately 2.1 million farms in America. The average size is 434 acres. Small family farms, averaging 231 acres, make up 88 percent, meaning that 1.85 million farms can benefit immediately from ag drones.

Drones are used to gather a variety of image-based data about the condition of crops, fields and livestock including data such as plant height, plant count, plant health, presence of nutrients, presence of disease, presence of weeds, relative biomass estimates and the 3D / volumetric data (piles, patches, holes and hills). Normally for livestock operations, drones can be used to monitor the location, status and movement of animals over time with more frequency and at a lower cost than other means. Drone data is used to do farming jobs more effectively and efficiently, including the activity such as Crop Scouting (replace men with drones:, Crop Health Monitoring (it was the biggest ROI by far),
Field Surveying/Scouting (before planting), Nitrogen Recommendation, Yield Monitoring, Plant Stress Monitoring, Drought Assessment. Senescence Analysis, Leaf Area Indexing Activity, Phenology, Tree Classification and more. Usually to take quick action, orthomosaic images generated by drones can be fed into an agricultural program likeSMS by Ag Leader, SST Summit®, FarmRite®, Stratus®, Sirrus®” or other software tools to createprescription maps. Prescription maps inform the farm operator where & what specific actions are needed, such as increasing or decreasing nitrogen spread on trouble spots. Prescription maps can be transferred directly into a precision applicator (sprayer) like a John Deere. This information gethered from various sources. Thanks.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Pulau Banggi, Sabah,
Malaysia.
(Visit potential estates by FELCRA).

DRONES - For Agricultural Crop Surveillance


THE USAGE of DRONES or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for crop surveillance can drastically increase farm crop yields while minimizing the cost of walking the fields or airplane fly-over filming. The application of drones in Malaysia are at initial stage by certain oil plantation sector, paddy area and other selected crops. Using our Precision Vision we can view composite video showing the health of your crops taken by this technology. Among agencies in Malaysia using information of data collected by drones are Department of Agriculture, FELCRA, FELDA and private estate sectors. The Benefits of Drones in the Farming activities are supposed to increase yields for selected crop through improving data provided and the agronomic practices. This technology able to find potentially yield limiting problems in a timely fashion and it able to save time.
While all farmers know the value of scouting their crops few actually have time to cover the acres on foot. Those success farmers at the end return on Investment. Now the existting practice in Malaysia at an average of RM8.00 per acre for a walking visual inspection or an aerial survey to take an image of crop fields, the ROI on the purchase of an aerial helicopter drone can be met quickly. In most operations, the ROI for our drones can be achieved in a crop season or less, leaving you owning a drone that reduces your operating costs and improves your crop yield by giving you the timely information you need for quick management intervention. This article ini "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share information related to the UAV technology in agriculture.

The ease of use of Drones or UAV products can be very complex to set-up and operate, but with our preset standards we allow new operators to have confidence in operating from the beginning. It involves 'Integrated GIS mapping' and draw field borders for flight pattern. It will create Crop Health Imaging. Seeing the true health of your field in a color contrast allows you to see how much sunlight is being absorbed by the crop canopy. The technology such as this are 'Failsafe' therefore it is The Drone Flies Home. As an added safety net with the flip of switch your Precision Drone will return to its original takeoff location. The ability of farmesr and operators to handle the agruculture drones needs tyraining and practices.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronommist,
Kuantan, Pahang,
Malaysia.
(22 August 2016)