By: Dr. Nor Asma Ab Razak
TELUK INTAN, Oct 4 – Institute of Bioscience (IBS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), with the cooperation of Kolej Vokasional Pertanian Teluk Intan (KVPTI) recently organized an agro-based advocacy programme, with a model theme on expanding holistic agriculture technology towards a developed Malaysia.
Among the panellists were UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof Dato’ Dr. Mohd Azmi Mohd Lila; Director of BioScience Institute, Prof Dr. Abdul Rahman Omar; Deputy Director of Planning Branch, Development and Strategic Policy of NATC, Radhuhaida Ramli; Deputy Academic Director of BPTV, Fauzi Abdullah and Head of the Department of Agriculture Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Assoc. Prof Dr. Norsida Man.
Prof Dato’ Dr Mohd Azmi said the quality and excellence of a research and innovation provided meaningful contributions to the society and the country, in line with UPM’s mission to be a university of international reputation.
“This programme is a community network which has been implemented by UPM since five years ago to see the impact of community development, involving advisory services and sharing of knowledge between UPM and KVPTI, in multiple areas of disciplines. Through such a programme, the finding of a research and the latest technology can be shared with the community,” he said.
Prof Dr Abdul Rahman, meanwhile, said UPM’s focus is on two areas; plant tissue culture growth led by Julia Abd Aziz, and Bioprocess Engineering, led by Dr Nor Asma Ab Razak, both from IBS.
“Various programmes have been planned to provide training to enhance the teaching skills of teachers (TOT) and students in the field of agriculture technology, including holding a workshop on tissue culture and another bioreactor workshop, as well as placement of KVPTI diploma students for practical training,” he said.
He added that UPM had also contributed in the form of advisory services to upgrade the tissue culture growth laboratory to become a learning spot for vocational students, and creation of quality saplings through tissue culture for commercial purposes.
KVPTI Director, Rusli Sharkom, meanwhile, said KVPTI as an educational institution offered a centralized vocational agriculture programme under the management of BPTV, and through a Memorandum of Understanding, signed on September 29, 2014, various programmes had been formulated, involving KVPTI students and lecturers.
He said that UPM was heading the efforts to complete education with emphasis on educational development and technical and vocational trainings (TVET).
“Participation of students can help improve their soft skills, rather than academic, in shaping their characters and professionalism and in producing quality students and workforce that could strengthen the field of agriculture, through the use of modern technologies,” he added.
He also said this was in line with vocational education transformation plan to provide education and innovative vocational training that could fulfil the requirements of an individual, society, industry and the country.
This collaboration with UPM will ensure that the human capital who were diploma and certificate students in Vocational Skills could gain direct education from the university.
This programme also reaffirms UPM’s commitment to boost intellectual resources and infrastructure in their respective capacities to expand agriculture in its niche area among the urbanites. – UPM