Research should have practical applications, agriculture research officers told

Chai (second right) accompanying Dr Abdul Rahman (second left) as they listen to a briefing by a research officer explain at the mini exhibition.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Dec 3: Department of Agriculture (DOA) research officers have been urged to look into applied research with a focus on solving problems and challenges faced by farmers, agroprenuers and other stakeholders starting next year.

DOA acting director Dr Alvin Chai Kuet Lian emphasised that findings from research programmes should be able to contribute to the agriculture sector.

“(Deputy Chief Minister) YB Datuk Amar (Douglas Uggah Embas) emphasised on an outcome based approach in implementing our programmes and projects.

“By doing so, our Research and Development (R&D) programmes and projects will not only remain relevent, but also have high impact on the farming community and other stakeholders along the supply chain,” he said.

He highlighted this at the 2019 Research Officers’ Progress Meeting (ROPM) which was officiated at by Assistant Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (MANRED) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail today, representing Uggah.

In this agriculture transformation journey, Chai reminded the officers that R&D plays an integral role, and therefore it should not be business as usual.

“Research officers need to clearly identify and play their role in contributing towards achieving this strategic goal,” he said.

Among the principles and approaches to apply in planning and implementing research programmes, Chai wants the research officers to reduce pure research, avoid duplication of research to save resources, and outsource certain aspect of research activities such as lab analysis services.

“Research findings must be translated into action to benefit the farming community and officers must work closely with other divisions and branches,” he said.

Emphasising Uggah’s call for the department to have its own specialists and experts for important or focus crops as well as soil and aquaculture, Chai said research officers need to become specialists for the whole supply chain, from production through to marketing.

“Besides that, research officers will become the ‘resource person’ who is capable of providing information on the latest technology and comprehensive training to extension offices through ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes,” he added. — DayakDaily