Maylasia to expand hydroponic greenhouse industry

The New Straits Times (Malaysia) reports the state government is allocating RM1 million for agricultural cooperatives, area farmers’ organisations (PPK) and farmers to adopt  hydroponics and fertigation technologies. It compared these modern techniques to countries like China where production has increased over traditional methods, using less space.

Johor Agricultural and Agro-based Industry executive committee chairman Ismail Mohamed said, initially, the state government would introduce these methods to the members of agricultural cooperatives and PPK.

He said research showed that they were suitable for suburban and rural areas where land was limited.

He added that they involved the use of greenhouses and resulted in higher yield and better quality produce, thus improving farmers’ incomes.

“We have found that these methods are suitable for our country, even when there is a draught or during rainy season because the plants are more resilient and can produce continuously.

“These methods are different from traditional methods.

“Hydroponics uses water mixed with fertilisers while the fertigation techniques uses a combination of fertiliser and coconut husks. This will save on the use of land and produce higher yields,” said Ismail.

He said the allocation would be distributed through the Idle Land Development Scheme.

He said these methods were suitable for crops such as leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, long beans, eggplants, tomatoes, pumpkins, chillies, lady fingers and potatoes and would require an area of less than one hectare.

“Courses and guidance on these methods will be given to the farmers to ensure that they understand the best way to implement them.

“I have asked each of the 13 districts in the state to choose one produce that is suitable for each district so that we can maximise production and prevent the overproduction of one produce.”  Ω

Posted 4 May 2014