BETONG: There is a plan for collaborations between Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) and Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (Centexs) to develop the palm oil industry using smart practices.
One such collaboration would be using digital methods to allow for rigorous monitoring in the oil palm plantation to generate more practical results, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“We have discussed with Salcra to collaborate with Centexs to do a research in transforming the oil palm plantations.
“These will involve methods of planting and systematic ways to look after the planting, so that we will be able to get a better harvest.
“Through this initiative, Centexs will monitor the plantations using a smart agriculture method and collect the data.
This also includes doing research on soil fertility, accurate water and fertiliser systems,” he said.
He was asked by reporters with regard to the smart agriculture system which will be done by Centexs announced at a Centexs-SMA Safari 2019 (Betong) programme at Dewan Gemilang, Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Betong, near here, recently.
He added the new system would be implemented once Salcra had identified suitable areas for the purpose.
“The efforts probably could be done in six months’ time, and it depends on the readiness of both sides to start the project because this project is an initiative that is going to be done by Centexs.
“Under Salcra, there are many palm oil plantations that are already developed and for a start an estimated 500 acres of palm oil plantations will be involved.
“We see the problems faced by the palm oil planters, which is the distance from the road and the difficulties in monitoring the plantations, including the fertilisation.
“With this system, it will be much easier when we use drone to do the monitoring part,” he said.