STEPPING into the Kampung Guar Jering padi estate and one could easily tell the vast difference between two plots of rice fields adjacent to each other.
From the surface, one of the plots has a shade of golden brown while the other is dull brown.
Padi farmer Md Awang said the stalk from the golden brown plot was longer in length and had more husks.
“The rice grains are also bigger,” he pointed out.
The golden brown plot of padi field is a result of the ‘Plant ProBiotic Tumbuhan 2 in 1’ (probiotics), a new microbial supplement developed by research and development (R&D) incubator Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd (AsiaBio).
Md Awang, 62, who has been working in the padi estate in Kubang Semang, Penang, for more than 15 years, said since probiotics were used on the padi fields, the results of padi yield had been significant.
Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Kampung Pelet manager Nor Rahila Mohd Yusof said probiotics were used at Kampung Guar Jering and Bukit Merah since the second season in 2012 to help achieve the target of padi yield under the National Key Economic Area which was 6.5 metric tonnes by 2020.
“In the last season at the Guar Jering padi estate, our productivity increased from 3.8 metric tonnes per hectare to 5 metric tonne per hectare in one season.
“Through the usage of the supplement, we can see a difference in the yield. Besides a bigger grain size, soil conditions have also become healthier,” she added during a media familiarisation trip to the Kampung Guar Jering padi estate recently.
AsiaBio executive director Looi Kem Loong said probiotics were also used on padi fields belonging to PPK Lahar Bubur, also in Penang, for the last two years.
He said padi yields had successfully increased by 108% since probiotics were used in PPK Lahar Bubur in the first half of 2013.
Steve Tan, who is also AsiaBio executive director, said the probiotics technology would help Malaysia’s food production in the long run.
“We intend to introduce this product to more farmers and food producers.