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Friday, October 15, 2010

Status Planting Material in Malaysia

Malaysia was known as agriculture country many years ago and turning towards developed nation in 2020 which manufacturing and services sector became the main activity. Total population 1n 2010 about 27 million and agriculture sector remain as major activity outside urban area. Major commodities in Malaysia was oil palm plantation followed by Rubber plantation and other food crops. Paddy, fruits and vegetables among food crop commodities grown for domestic and export market. This article will discuss about the status of seed and planting material for food crop in Malaysia based on my study and experience for sharing the information.

Seeds and planting material (refer to seedling) industry in Malaysia was a small market compare to the world current status. For oil palm and rubber planting material Malaysia was established and at the advance stage due to continuous research and development program of new varieties. MPOB and LGM was the authority to lead this two commodities and as a result Malaysia was one of the leading nation in the world in oil palm and rubber industry. The new planting material for oil palm and rubber was produced by authorised nursery. New planting and replanting program for rubber was managed by RISDA with assistance grant include costs of planting material. This was a success story how rubber industry become one of the major export commodities until today. For both oil palm and rubber industry in Malaysia the production and supply of planting material was no problem.
For food crop especially people will talk firstly about paddy. Malaysia recorded about 674,745 hectare of paddy grown in 2010 with total production of 2.548 million metric ton of rice. Most of the paddy was grown in granary area such as in Kedah (210,644 hectare), Kelantan (247,416 ha), Perak (270,051 ha), Selangor (195,776 ha), Sabah and Sarawak. If seed requirement for paddy about 50 kg/ha that means total requirement for paddy seeds was tremendous. Paddy seed program was monitored by authority with certified paddy seed program to ensure of genuine and vigorous seed was distributed to the farmers. The most popular paddy seed variety grown in Malaysia was MR 219 and MR 220.

Seedling production for tropical fruit crop in Malaysia was a good business by private nursery. More than 80% of fruit tree seedling controlled by private sector and the remaining by Department of Agriculture and few government linked agencies. The seedling was monitored by authority through Mother Planting material certification program by DOA. This program will ensure the planting material produced by private nursery use the genuine mother plants as claimed. For example for Durian Clone D24 produced by private nursery the authority will check their source of mother plant is D24. Private has to apply the certification from Department of Agriculture.

For planting material production (Seed, Seedling, Cutting etc) of vegetables and cashcrops in Malaysia was unpredictable. Few farmers has been using their own seeds in vegetable production for many years through their own selection process. The farmers use his own seed such as okra, chilli, kangkung,maize, groundnut, long beans especially on the remote area. Planting material for tubers crop such as tapioca, sweet potato, yam normally farmers recycle their own harvested crop as next supply of planting material. Crop like tapioca and sweet potato has no problem of the mutation because of 'true-to-type' breeding concept by cutting method.

From my study recently in Malaysia the estimated total amount of seed and seedling business was about RM 30 million annually. From that amount about RM 300,000 is for paddy seed activity and the remaining is the cost for vegetables, food crops and selected fruit seeds (melon, watermelon). Most vegetables seeds are imported from Taiwan or China claimed as Hybrid Seed and has a great demand from commercial vegetable growers. The seeds was packed in tin or vacuum pack to ensure the quality. Few local popular seed brands such as 'Know You Seed', 'Hong Chan' and many others.





M Anem

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