JOHOR BAHRU, 29 March – UTM MyAgrosis Programme has begun to bear fruit with a return of half of the total loan. The project, approved in December 2013 has now managed to garner a return of RM8,500 from the initial loan of RM18, 000. The loan is provided under the Student Affair Microcredit Scheme (HEMA).
“This shows that the program is running according to plan and has achieved its goal of producing entrepreneurs among UTM students,” said En Ishak Ahmad, the project coordinator.
Ishak said that two parcels of land have been allocated for this project, namely UTM Orchard and also in Kampung Rantau Panjang, Bukit Besar, Kulai.
The project also receives assistance from agricultural agencies like the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM), Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
“Assistance rendered included pineapple seedlings and research grants totaling RM60,000.00. MARDI Kulai also provided an incubator for chili and pepper seedlings, in addition to providing training and guidance ” En Ishak further added.
Among the crops planted in the UTM Orchard included chilli pepper (Lada Besar Kulai), bird’s-eye chilli (Cili Padi) and figs (Pokok Tin). Meanwhile, the land in Kulai is planted with pineapples, lemongrass (serai), agarwood (gaharu) and turnips (sengkuang).
Ishak also did not rule out the possibility of extending the project to other farming activities in the future.
“In the long term we intend to rent more UTM land both on and off campus, for farming purposes, particularly for animal husbandry projects involving goats and cows,” he said.