By Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh & Syifarida Muhamad Zaki
Photo by Marina Ismail
SERDANG, Oct 30 – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Agriculture Exposition and its 39th Convocation are offering a total of 1,000 fruit seedlings for sale, including durian tree clones. The exposition and convocation feature 29 innovation research sites, of which the majority will be displaying a wide variety of agriculture produce. It was opened by UPM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Fauzi Ramlan.
Among the more innovative items produced by UPM itself were “Afdhal” cooking oil which is made of natural herbal extracts and could reduce the rate of oil absorption in food and could be used repeatedly up to 80 times.
“This cooking oil is scientifically formulated using the main ingredient, that is palm oil and herbs that can reduce oil absorption in fried food up to 85 per cent, and also reduce the risk of being inflicted with cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
“This innovation proves that innovative Malaysian products are marketable and can go to the international level. “This approach, hopefully, can be the prime mover in boosting agriculture industry in our country,” he said.
The exposition which is free of charge and organized by UPM Taman Pertanian Universiti at Bukit Ekspo will last for six days from Oct 30 to November 4, 2015, offering prices from as low as RM10 for the plants, saplings and other interesting items and agriculture produce.
Some of the durian seedlings put up for display at the expo which is open from 10am to 10pm include the D24 clone, D 99 (small corp), D 168 (Hajah Hasmah) and D 197 (Raja Kunyit). Rambutan seedlings of R191 type, small mango tree of MA 224 Cok Anan, jackfruit of J33 specie and guava of GU15 are also being sold.
A variety of agriculture-based activities and programmes have been lined up such as the sale of downstream agriculture produce which offer participating visitors attractive prizes if they win in the contests.
The theme for this year’s expo is “Anchoring Agriculture” in line with UPM’s objectives to encourage the public to turn to agriculture activities.
In line with the theme, the expo also offers Klinik Pengembangan Pertanian with the presence of 12 UPM agriculture experts to explain and teach members of the public about the right methods to carry out plantings such as grafting, wedging and soffit as well as problems faced in the sector like urban farming.
The clinic also runs a demonstration on a slew of activities such as how to plant vegetables using fertigation and hydroponic ways, the right methods to plant and expand ornamental plants, planting of vegetables the growbag method, how to get rid of pests, planting the topsy tipsy method like bonsai and terrarium, growing of vegetables in unused containers the piskiponik way, floral and fauna decoration in aquariums, preparation of healthy food, preparation of effective micro-organisms and herbal goods for bath.
Orchid lovers will have the chance to buy various species of attractive blooms at a cheap price at Astaka Orkid, Bukit Ekspo.
Several activities are in store for visitors such as orchid flowers arrangement, orchid research expo and talks on ways to plant and treat orchids from fungal infections.
UPM’s beef is being sold at a price from as low as RM25 per kilogramme at the Putra Mart TPU area, deer meat at RM39.20 per kg and dairy cattle at RM6.50 for 1.5 litres. In addition, visitors have the opportunity to ride and feed horses, deer and goats at the expo site.
In the evening, UPM students will take centrestage through a host of activities including Rentak Putra or battle of the bands between residential colleges, cultural performance by local and foreign students, performance by invited artistes, choir contest between residential colleges and the “In Search Of A Star” contest.
Other activities include across the farm run, UPM Obstacle Challenge Rakan Muda where participants will endure physical and mental tests while running over the obstacles and sports/recreation activities such as flying fox and canoeing.
Other interesting programmes with attractive prizes to be won include a drawing contest, lucky draw, caricature painting, Explorace, magazine mega sale, session with your icons and the Urban/Recycle Agriculture contest where participants have to use residual waste for decoration and for use in narrow spots such as house balcony.
At the opening ceremony, Pusat Pembangunan Maklumat dan Komunikasi (Information Technology and Communication Development Centre) was announced the winner of Urban Agriculture contest between PTJ UPM, walking away with a gold medal, RM1,500 cash and a participation certificate.