Mardi to monitor homegrown shallot variety's growth, production, says Mat Sabu

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) has been instructed to closely monitor the growth and production of the new shallot variety BAW-1, which is being cultivated in Perak, in a bid to reduce reliance on imports.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said the data obtained later could assist the ministry in formulating a plan for large-scale cultivation of this local red onion.

The BAW-1 variety, along with BAW-2 and BAW-3, are the three new shallot varieties introduced by Mardi last year.

"Alhamdulillah, on Jan 24 this year, the Agriculture Development Authority started cultivating the BAW-1 variety at a one-hectare site in Kuala Bikam, Batang Padang, Perak,” he said in a post on Facebook Friday (Feb 2).

He said the onion supply crisis in 2020, caused by a major flood in India, resulted in a more than 30% increase in onion prices in the market, rising from RM6 to RM8 per kilogramme.

When delivering his 2024 New Year’s mandate, Mohamad said the ministry would focus on strengthening the onion industry this year. - Bernama

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