By Syifarida Muhamad Zaki
Photo by Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, Dec 2 – Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Institute of Tropical Agriculture with the cooperation of the Agriculture Faculty recently organized an International Conference on Crop Improvement (ICCI 2015) for environmental preservation and the use of sustainable agriculture produce.
The working papers presented during the conference covered the latest on technological applications for the various minor and major crops such as palm oil, paddy, potatoes, tomatoes and herbal species which were important for the global market, nutritional resources for humans or industrial raw materials.
2015 ICCI Chairwoman, Prof. Datin Dr. Siti Nor Akmar Abdullah said through the conference, local scientists could work together at the international level in discussing the latest technologies that could aid in producing safe agriculture produce.
“The negative impact on crop production is due to diseases that can result in disaster and global climate change and this definitely requires innovative solutions.
“The conference has allowed discussions on the newest and the most developed technology in the field of “omics”, a molecular indicator and genetic manipulation to be used to understand the complex interaction in biological system and reactions to the environment.”
“This technology can be used to develop the most efficient and detailed methods in the planting of a variety of better and stronger plants, thus help in overcoming the various issues faced in the development of sustainable agriculture crops,” she said.
She added that the 2015 ICCI also provided a unique opportunity for scientists to meet with international experts from renowned universities in the fields of agriculture and biosciences.
The conference, themed “Sustainability Through Developed Technologies” was held for two days, participated by 200 people from 11 countries, mainly from Asian, Europe and the United States of America.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, in his speech, said the government realized the importance of agriculture sector as among the main ones in contributing towards the country’s economy.
“Hence, cooperation between the international experts and local scientists is vital to see the production of safe and sustainable agriculture produce for the future.
“This new technology, known as ‘omics’ a molecular indicator and genetic manipulation is being used in developed nations to treat plants affected by diseases and to produce better crops,” he said when opening the conference.
The conference outlined various causes of plant diseases, including disaster, climate change, problems in soil structure and human actions. – UPM.
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