By: Nur Syamila Kamarul Arefin
Photo By: Izrul Abdul Jabar
SERDANG, June 30 - Most people consider working as a farmer a less profitable job and consider it dirty because one must be under the hot sun and rain.
Several factors make agriculture less popular for young people, and one of their perceptions is that it is traditional work done by older people.
However, from the economic perspective, many think that a farmer's income is not profitable and does not guarantee the future.
In view of the situation, Senior Agriculture Officer, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Allan Lajot, thinks that an initiative that can be done to invite UPM students not in the field of agriculture to be interested in agriculture by giving them wages to manage the rock melon farm at UPM.
"In addition, students not majoring in agriculture will benefit from acquiring agricultural knowledge by generating income from working while studying at the rock melon farm, Ladang 10, UPM," he said.
He added that the students selected to work in the rock melon farm consisted of asnaf students who were given wages to teach them to become rock melon farmers after graduating from university.
The harvesting of 620 rock melon trees for the Glamor Variety Rock Melon Planting Programme yielded excellent results for UPM to generate income and also help UPM students increase their income while gaining knowledge. This project started on June 14 and has successfully harvested 300 rock melons at Ladang 10, UPM.
A student of Bachelor of Science in Plantation Management with Honours, Faculty of Agriculture, UPM, Ahmad Mustaqim Ismail, said the student volunteer programme had provided a lot of knowledge that was difficult to obtain; for example, the fertigation system that is widely used today.
“This system is not only for rock melon planting, but this fertigation can be used for eggplant, chilli and others.
"UPM is very helpful in providing opportunities like this by providing knowledge and increasing income in the field of agriculture which is less involved by young people nowadays," he said.
Ahmad Mustaqim said his plan in the future was to get fertigation knowledge to help the people in his village in the field of agriculture, especially rock melons, which have a very high value in the market, to generate income.
He added that the sweetest experience for him was when he saw the rock melon fruit in the process of pollination becoming big and beautiful.
“I feel very proud to have been able to manage my time well as an employee and student because we know the time of rock melon pollination is a very important time in achieving quality and sweet fruit,” he said.
A student of Bachelor of Biotechnology Science with Honours, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science, UPM, Nurdeena Akma Mohd Akmal, said although her study programme was not related to agriculture, owing to her interest, she is learning how to manage rock melons at Ladang 10, UPM.
“While working in the rock melon farm, we were given a wage to manage the rock melons, and it was very worthwhile and the wage given was for my savings. UPM helped me a lot as I did not know anything about the field of agriculture, especially fertigation, which can be used for all crops, ”she said.
She added that all individuals can venture into agriculture to increase the country's agricultural output without having to be imported from other countries and can generate income as successful farmers from the knowledge obtained from UPM, which is free for all students. - UPM
Date of Input: 01/07/2022 | Updated: 04/07/2022 | hairul_nizam
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan