Wednesday, March 22

SDEC launches high-end agriculture facility at Centexs


Abang Johari (centre) being briefed on the SDEC-PDAF facility at Centexs yesterday. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Jan 12): Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Berhad (SDEC) launched the first-of-its-kind Precision and Discipline Agriculture Facility (PDAF) at the Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs) yesterday.

The SDEC PDAF is Malaysia’s first fully integrated high-tech agriculture facility using Netafim’s technology for greenhouses and open-field farming.

The launching was officiated by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and SDEC chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

SDEC-PDAF is supported by Netafim Solution, a global technology provider in the agriculture industry.

“It is specifically designed for low-land areas and includes an integrated climate control and fertigation system via precision agriculture technology for large-scale farming fields and multiple greenhouses,” said SDEC.

The high-end agriculture facility will be used as a reference for other modern agriculture industries and smallholders to ensure the success of their smart agriculture initiatives.

Furthermore, SDEC said the ability to utilise the technology on open-field farming will provide flexibility for Sarawakian farmers to adopt the technology without having to change their farm setup.

“The launch of SDEC-PDAF demonstrates our commitment to driving digital innovation in the agriculture industry and optimising modern farming operations and entrepreneurship in Sarawak with the goal of empowering and supporting modern farming operations and the ecosystem,” explained Morshidi.

Most importantly, he said SDEC-PDAF will be used not only to develop sustainable commercial models for the widespread implementation of smart agriculture but also to invest in the talent development of local farmers and entrepreneurs.

By providing training and support in the latest technologies and practices, he said SDEC aimed to enhance the capacity of the state’s farmers to become more productive and competitive.

“We believe that by investing in the talent development of our farmers, we will be able to create a sustainable and resilient agriculture industry that can meet the needs of our local communities and the nation.”

SDEC-PDAF consists of two greenhouses and two open-field farming areas, which are designed and built in accordance with global standards and are equipped with weather stations, Internet of Things (IoT) and automation systems, and crops monitoring, fertigation and irrigation systems.

Currently, the facility is focusing on cherry tomatoes and chili crops.

“SDEC-PDAF aims to become the leading innovation facility for agriculture technology, standards and best practices for future agronomists or modern farmers,” said SDEC chief executive officer Sudarnoto Osman.

He said the facility will also be utilised for training courses for theoretical, conceptual and practical syllabuses, as well as a showcase for cutting-edge digital technology in agriculture and digitally optimised modern farming operations.

SDEC-PDAF is a collaboration between SDEC, Centexs and Netafim.

SDEC manages the facility’s management and operations, while Centexs oversees training and courses on precision and discipline agriculture.

Netafim offers solution consultancy services such as best practices, technical support and an agricultural recipe database.