KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The Vegetable and Herb Agro-Food Site at the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-tourism Exhibition (Maha) 2022 emphasises the concept of commercial vegetable production and urban agriculture based on the application of a technology developed by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi).

Director at the Mardi Horticulture Research Centre, Dr Zulhazmi Sayuti, said it included the plant factory technology for the production of all-year round high-value vegetables, which was developed through Mardi’s research and development (R&D).

"This technology is a system of vegetable production in a closed and controlled structure, without the plant being affected by changes in the weather that can affect yield, quality, as well as pest and disease attacks, which is capable of increasing yields four to 10 times per unit of space compared to conventional cultivation methods," he told Bernama.

At this Maha 2022 at the Malaysian Agriculture Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), being held from today until Aug 14 , Mardi is also showcasing the elevated self-watering planting system, especially for premium price leafy vegetables.

He said the system could increase production four to six times per unit of space, compared to conventional farming, and is cost-saving in terms of fertilisers and agricultural inputs of up to 25 per cent compared to the hydroponic method.

He said visitors also had the opportunity to see the Self-watering Container (SWC) technology, which is a pot planting system that consists of three parts, namely water storage, capillaries and plants to meet the needs of urban agriculture, as well as reduce the frequency of watering and control the plant size.

According to Zulhazmi, Mardi has produced a package for lowland round cabbage production technology in 2018 and lowland cauliflower production technology in 2020 in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on import of round cabbage.

"All these technologies and many more of Mardi’s technologies related to vegetables are on display at Laman Sayur Maha 2022 in various forms.

“For example, plant factory technology with the application of LED lights as a result of Mardi’s innovation is displayed on the Edibel website, while the onion production technology is exhibited in the form of Greenkit, which is Mardi’s innovation for 'home gardening'.

“There is also a Plant Doctor Site, which also serves as a plant clinic, to showcase vegetable pest and disease management technology, " he said.

Meanwhile, Zulhazmi said all the value chains from seed producers such as East West Seed and Crop Power, the production of new 'varieties' by Mardi (Tomato MAHA 18, Chili L5), the transfer of technology to target groups in urban agriculture (Maybank Urban Farming) are also displayed at the Vegetables and Herbs Agro-Food Site.

The Vegetable and Herb Site is one of the eight agricultural sites, namely Fisheries, Livestock, Padi, Fruits, Pineapple, Machinery Floriculture.

This year’s Maha 2022 is themed of 'Food Security for the Future'. — Bernama