Mukah coals eyed as potential raw materials for nitrohumic acid fertilisers

Coals (photo for illustration purposes only) — file pic.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, June 24: Humic acids can be extracted from coals that are abundant in Mukah to become one of the key ingredients to develop nitrohumic acid (NHA) fertilisers.

Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said this new technology, if adopted, can bring serious impact to Sarawak.

He said the NHA innovation by the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institution (Mardi) is a mixture between liquid fertiliser formulas and coal-based soil conditioners.

“Mukah has got plenty of coals. They need moist coals for this. The one (coals) in Kapit is dry, more for power generation.

“So, we’re thankful to Mardi for giving us this idea. Rather than us depending so much on raw material from other countries like Ukraine which is really very expensive,” he added.

With the availability of new technology, Dr Rundi noted the potential of reducing fertiliser prices when mixing conventional and new formulas together.

He said the technology however will only be materialised in a few more years and not so soon, despite the recent price hike of fertilisers by three-fold caused by raw material shortage due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We are trying to get PPNS (Sarawak State Farmers’ Organisation) to come in. They will need some time, maybe a year or two.

“Right now, we have to make do with what we have, and also try to explore more options. Not only in coal, but also biomass. We are trying to move as fast as we can,” he said when officiating the Mardi Agroinvest 2022 program at a local hotel here today.

Among those present were Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institution (Mardi) director Dato Dr Mohamad Zabawi Abdul Ghani and Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development permanent secretary Datu Edwin Abit. — Dayakdaily