Fer­tiliser has global po­ten­tial

New Straits Times - - Excellence In Education - For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.utp.edu.my.


low­ing for a more ef­fi­cient sys­tem compared with con­ven­tional fer­til­is­ing ef­forts.

The brain be­hind OneBAJA is Pro­fes­sor Dr Noorhana Yahya, who is lead­ing the UTP team in a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort, which also saw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Univer­siti Pu­tra Malaysia (UPM), Univer­siti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Univer­siti Te­knologi Malaysia (UTM).

“We are ready for com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion and are look­ing at up­scal­ing field tests. OneBAJA has been suc­cess­fully tested in some rice fields in Se­lan­gor,” said Noorhana.

“While we are cer­tain and con­fi­dent that it will be suc­cess­ful, it does take about two years for oil palm and rice yields to be re­alised. We are con­fi­dent that it will pro­duce the de­sired re­sults as proven in our tri­als.”

She said they were look­ing op­ti­misti­cally at an av­er­age of 20 per cent in­crease in yield.

Mean­while, the prod­uct has at­tracted the at­ten­tion of po­ten­tial man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ners from Aus­tralia and the United States.

“This will take UTP in­no­va­tion and re­search prod­uct into the global arena, es­pe­cially in keep­ing with our tar­get To­wards Global Promi­nence,” said Noorhana.

"We also have in­ter­ested par­ties who are keen to help us pro­mote the prod­uct in the Euro­pean and South Amer­i­can mar­kets,” she said, adding that all that was left to do was the brand­ing and pric­ing.

While the idea for OneBAJA was ini­tially mooted with the pri­mary pur­pose of in­creas­ing padi yields, this tech­nol­ogy will be ap­pli­ca­ble to crops across the board. This, she said, would not only in­crease crop yields but would also re­sult in a more op­ti­mal use of land that was avail­able for cul­ti­va­tion.

The first of its kind, OneBAJA has tremen­dous global po­ten­tial. Be­ing a green prod­uct from the man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties right through to the fi­nal prod­uct, it au­gurs well for a fu­ture where en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns would be high on the list of pri­or­i­ties.

Ad­di­tion­ally the in­creased yields, in terms of qual­ity and quan­tity, will pave the way for the in­crease in food production and al­le­vi­ate some of the con­cerns of food se­cu­rity as the world faces the di­chotomy of arable land ver­sus de­vel­op­ment re­quire­ments.

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