| Universiti Putra Malaysia

Thohira Synbiotics helps the Orang Asli community to reduce farming costs of livestock and agriculture

By: Hafliza Hussin


HULU LANGAT, Nov 30 – The Orang Asli community is an indigenous minority community that contributes to the economic development in Malaysia, especially from the aspects of agriculture and fisheries. Under the government’s development plan, the Orang Asli community has been increasingly integrated into the national economy.

In an effort to help improve the economic level of the community, a group of researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Prof. Dr. Shuhaimi Mustafa from the Halal Products Research Institute held a demonstration of using the UPM technology, Thohira Synbiotic, on Nov 30 and Dec 1 2019 in conjunction with the Innovation Fun Day 2.0 Programme at the Orang Asli Village in Sg. Gabai here.

Prof. Shuhaimi said the Thohira Synbiotics technology has been licensed to Halways Sdn Bhd and is already in the market through the livestock products of the aquaculture industry since March 2017.

Prof. Shuhaimi and his research team have successfully developed a technology based on formulation from the local industry waste, palm kernel, together with the microcapsulation of microorganisms in producing various enzymes, proteins and metabolites capable of increasing the nutritional content and prebiotics of livestock food while encouraging growth comparable to other commercial products and more economical.

According to Mr. Omar, an entrepreneur and representative of the Orang Asli community in Sungai Gabai, the fish farm there is a source of income for the community to cover their daily expenses.

“We are very excited that UPM is willing to co-organise the community programme here to share knowledge and technology that can help improve the economy of the local population by reducing the cost of fish food,” he said.

The demonstration session was part of the Innovation Fun Day 2.0 Programme handled by students from Group 1 of the credited co-curriculum course, Innovation and Invention (QK1 2101).

Chief Executive Officer of the Halways Sdn. Bhd., Dr. Muhamad Akhmal Hakim, also trained the Orang Asli community on techniques to reduce fish farming costs using Thohira Synbiotics. The company also sponsored RM15,000 worth of Thohira Synbiotic products to the Orang Asli there.

The Innovation Fun Day 2.0 Programme involved 30 UPM students from the credited co-curriculum course, Innovation and Invention, and monitored by the course facilitator, Hafliza Hussin. It was also aimed to produce creative and critical minded students in leading the creation of social innovations to build soft skills through organising programme with the community to enhance the target group’s well-being.

The programme was organised in collaboration with the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), Putra Science Park, UPM, UPM Mosque Friends, and UPM Cycling Club. - UPM