On 13 March 2013, we Sustainable Science student went to MARDI Cameron Highland, Pahang for fieldtrip under subject Sustainable Agriculture.
Cameron Highland, Pahang located at the main range of Peninsular Malaysia which is Titiwangsa Range. It is 900m above sea level and it cover total area of 70,000 hectares. Mild temerature of Cameron Hghlands is range from 14-24˚C throughout the year and annual of rainfall is 2660mm. Agriculture becomes main activities in Cameron Highland due to the favourable climate and give high yield income to farmer.
In 1925, MARDI Cameron Highland Station established first by British known as The Federal Experimental Station. Tea was first introduced in the country in 1925 and these early tea bushes are growing healthy at the station until today. The first tea factory built in 1935 is still capable of processing black tea.
The Agrotechnology Park MARDI Cameron Highlands is located within the station and was officiated by His Royal Highness DYMM The Sultan Of Pahang on 14th of June, 2003. Since then, about 65,000 visitors, visit the park each year.
Function of MARDI Cameron Highland Station:
1) Centre of Excellence for Research and Innovation of Agricultural Technology Highlands.
2) Strategic resource research– biology, environment, water, soil.
3) Holticulture research- vegetables, flowers and highland fruits.
4) Support for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.
5) Agrotechnology Park.
Objective trip to MARDI Cameron Highland:
1) To improve understanding about sustainable agriculture.
2) to identify the farming system based on sustainable agriculture that integrates three main goals – social, economic and environmental.
3) To determine some improvement based on our opinion.
Activities at MARDI Cameron Highland:
1) Briefing about Cameron Highland and MARDI Cameron Highland.
2) Tour around MARDI Cameron Highland.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE ON ENVIRONMENT IN MARDI CAMERON HIGHLAND
1) Reduce soil erosion
As agriculture is a main activity in Cameron Highland, it lead to a serious soil erosion problem that usually happen in highland. The problem is worsen by open farming practices which cause by long exposure to the rain splashing.
To cope with this problem, MARDI Cameron Highland do a research to control soil erosion. Some plants are selected for this research to help to control soil erosion in agriculture area in Cameron Highland. For instance are kim chiam and vetiver grass. These type of grass are selected because of it root can hold soil better and prevent erosion.
2) Effectiveness of organic waste management: Vermicompost
Waste from agriculture especially stem cutting of chrysantimum is used for vermicompost. The term vermicompost means use of worm to compost organic waste. The excreta of the worms are rich in nitrate, avaible form of P, K, Ca and Mg. The passage of soil through earthworms promotes the growth of bacteria and actinomycetes.
At MARDI Cameron Highland, they not use a typical worm in Malaysia but use worm type American Night Crawler. It is because African Night Crawler is active breeders and quite effective when it comes to processing wastes compare to Malaysian worm. Then, the compost is used as fertilizer and at the same time can lower production cost.
Picture source: MARDI Cameron Highland
3) Modern agriculture techniques.
MARDI Cameron Highland use variety types of agriculture techniques such as soilless and soil cultivation to compare the production of crops that give high yield. Soil cultivation is use widely by farmer wether traditional of modern farming....