SERDANG – The Centre of Entrepreneurial Development and Graduate Marketability (CEM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), has successfully harvested the first batch of 100 kilograms of Kulai chillies through the chilli farming project via fertigation under the Structured Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme (SEIP).
Director of CEM, UPM, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mass Hareeza Ali, said through this incubator project, the participants were not only exposed to entrepreneurial knowledge, but they could also register their own business companies to eventually become entrepreneurs by selling agricultural products.
"The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has channelled RM10,000 for the needs of this programme, while the Institute of Bioscience (IBS), UPM, has partnered with us and generously allowed the use of their land as a farming site," she added.
UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (HEPA), Prof. Dr. Arifin Abdu, said the proposal to use the fertigation system for the project was appropriate as UPM strongly encourages its students to use agricultural technology for agricultural projects in line with the current trends.
“The fertigation system helps facilitate farm operations in terms of fertilisation and irrigation. As the fertigation system is controlled automatically, the participants can focus on their lessons without neglecting the 100% commitment needed to complete the project," he added.
Six participants were involved in the realisation of the programme, which will allow the students to be capable of competing in agro-based businesses.
Project leader, Mohammad Arif Ramly, said he was entrusted by CEM to lead the project along with five other group members. They include Nurazeyana Md Othman, Chrissha Webster, Muhammad Amir Hakimi Adnan, Mior Muhammad Tahfiz Abdul Raof and Thiery Maldini Maidin.
"We managed to seed 1,000 chilli seedlings from the Sakata 461 seeds, commonly known by its commercial name as Kulai chillies in the Conservatory Research Plot, IBS, UPM," he said.
As a Bachelor of Agricultural Science student, Mohammad Arif Ramly applied the knowledge gained from his studies to the chilli farming project.
"This chilli farming project via fertigation began in April 2021. The selection of chilli as the project commodity is in accordance with the current market trend where only 30% of the chilli produced in the country can meet current needs," he said.
He also added that the Sakata 461 chilli was chosen because of its high demand, higher capability to resist diseases and insect attacks, and estimated yield production of 1,000 kilograms by the end of August 2021.
The SEIP programme is organised by CEM in collaboration with MOHE and IBS. - UPM
Date of Input: 12/08/2021 | Updated: 12/08/2021 | hairul_nizam
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