BETONG, Aug 31: The fertigation garden for demonstration purposes at SMK Spaoh, near here, is in its final stage of construction.
It is the brainchild of Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister.
He said the fertigation garden is part of the precision agriculture that the state is introducing in its effort to modernise the sector.
“We deliberately put it in SMK Spaoh, so that the students can understand what it is all about. The public in Spaoh too, will be able to see the system for themselves and to study it thorough.
“We hope this would be able to cultivate interest among farmers, as we want to encourage them to depart from their traditional ways of planting fruits and vegetables,” he said in a statement issued after visiting the project.
Uggah added the state Agriculture Department would place another possible option namely the hydroponic system within the garden.
“Farmers can then decide which system they prefer. They are both very relevant to those with limited lands and require less manpower.
“I hope this demonstration farm costing about RM100,000 can attract and generate sufficient interest among our farmers for them to migrate to modern agriculture,” he said.
Uggah reminded that modern farming is the future for the farmers, and that they can achieve success with the right advice, guidance and attitude.
He expected planting to begin next month, starting with golden rock melon cultivation.
Uggah said more such demonstration gardens would be constructed statewide next year to popularise the two systems.
“In Betong, there is one such garden now at Simpang Layar, which was also in the final stage of construction. In Sibu, Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee had introduced the open type of the fertigation system.
“However, the Spaoh garden, we are doing both the rain shelter and the open system, which is more cheaper and eaiser to manage,” Uggah continued.
SMK Spaoh principal Muhamad Rais were among those accompanying Uggah during the visit. — DayakDaily