ARAU (Bernama) - Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap) has become the first public university in the country to conduct research on hemp (a member of the cannabis sativa plant) as an agricultural product with the potential of being economically developed in the future.
Its vice-chancellor, Professor Dr Zaliman Sauli said for that purpose, Unimap has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Kuala Lumpur-based company MyUS Hemphouse Sdn Bhd.
"As we know, the hemp production must be under strict control. It can also become a new economic resource for the country in the future as there are developed countries that have allowed the use of hemp for commercial purposes.
"Through the MoU, research and development can be carried out at UniMAP and focus will be given through Institut Agroteknologi Lestari (Insat) in Sungai Chuchuh, Padang Besar on an area of 0.8 hectares,” he said here, on Friday (Sept 10).
The MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also Unimap chancellor.
Zaliman signed the MoU on behalf of the university while while MyUS was represented by its chief executive officer Datuk Nellsen Young.
Unimap and MYUS will conduct research on hemp cultivation procedures and applications as well as focus on functional materials for agriculture especially organic farming to improve the country’s agricultural products.
"Through this agreement, research activity regarding the crop planting can be conducted successfully and the university-industry partnership can be strengthened," said Zaliman.
MYUS is one of the companies that has worked with the Malaysian government to obtain permission to grow, maintain and manage hemp cultivation as well as produce innovative hemp-based products for the use of composite fibre, bio-diesel, medicine, therapy and health care.
Unimap through Insat will provide facilities that include land use for the cultivation of such crops. whereas MYUS is responsible for providing infrastructure facilities, technical resources and assistance for research and development activities.
Meanwhile, Nellson when met said that his team will make an application to the government to get permission to bring in hemp seeds into the country and will start the planting process.
"We are now in the midst of getting government approval to bring the seeds in. Perlis has a suitable climate for the cultivation of hemp," he added. - Bernama