Cultivating creative solutions to farming

Dr Md Pauzi says there is high demand for the production of agriculture locally.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Malaysia is pushing for more collaboration between industry and academics in agrotechnology research and innovation so the agricultural sector can contribute to the country’s economic development.

IEEE Malaysia chairman Assoc Prof Dr Md Pauzi Abdullah said the country was facing new challenges on increasing productivity while reducing resources through technology and automation.

“New and creative solutions can help take Malaysia’s agriculture and food industry to a greater level of production and profitability by building on the country’s strong agricultural and agroforestry assets.

“Over the past several decades, Malaysia’s private and public sectors have harvested considerable amounts of palm oil, rubber, cocoa, rice and timber products, which can be enhanced further via research and innovation,” he said when contacted.

Dr Md Pauzi, who is also Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Centre of Electrical Energy Systems director, said there was a need for other stakeholders and the government to support the research outcome.

“There is high demand for the production of agriculture locally.

“On sustainable farming, efforts are happening in silos because of a lack of awareness and platform for all stakeholders to come together.

“Some industry players are unaware of sustainable farming development and current research findings, which can be improved through partnerships between parties.

“There should be a push of mindset that we can no longer stay in conventional farming, and industry players have to have a clear picture of the whole agriculture chain,” he said, adding that industry players and the academia should be proactive in providing input for the government to understand gaps and challenges faced by the sectors.

He highlighted that although the government would play an important role in the collaboration, the academic and industry sectors need to understand the government’s standpoint in moving forward on sustainable farming.

Dr Md Pauzi explained that these were some of the topics that were discussed in the recent virtual keynote talk and discussion organised by IEEE Malaysia and IEEE Singapore in early October titled “Industry-Academia Engagement Workshop: Bridging the Gap on Research and Innovation”.

He added that as for agro-waste management, a centralised effort in terms of a waste integrated management approach by the government was needed.

“The centre of collection and logistics has a chance to convert all waste into something usable.

“Malaysia’s agriculture practices should not only focus on disposal but also emphasise on prevention, reduction and minimisation of waste, so we are not still at the 3R (recycle, reuse and reduce) level,” he said.

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