Make Malaysia a regional hub for tropical agricultural research

KUALA LUMPUR (December 1): The newly formed Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences Association (ATAS), hopes to position Malaysia as a regional hub for tropical agricultural research, food production, agro-technological innovation and entrepreneurship development.

When it was launched here on Tuesday, November 30, ATAS also signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Cooperation for Agricultural Research and Development (CIRAD), a French agricultural research and cooperation organization that forges the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions. , to modernize the Malaysian agricultural sector, in line with Malaysia’s 12th Plan (2021-2025), which emphasizes smart agriculture.

“With ATAS, we want to ensure the success and sustainability of the tropical agriculture ecosystem which is Malaysia’s main agricultural export sector. [With] collaboration with CIRAD and with the implementation of innovative scientific and technological methodologies, I am convinced that we will be able to increase food production for export, which will then stimulate the economy of our country ”, declared the emeritus professor Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim, head of ATAS.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Roland Galharague, French Ambassador to Malaysia.

“In the long term, the MoU aims to develop specific collaborative programs linked to the specific interest of ATAS, which include technological agriculture, smart agriculture and precision agriculture,” said the CIRAD regional director for the island countries of South-East Asia, Dr Jean-Marc Roda. .

“While CIRAD has long been cooperating in Malaysia on the main agricultural raw materials, oil palm, forest, wood products and biomass, this cooperation with ATAS should develop a particular focus on agroecological transitions, food systems, climate change and the land. “Grounded approaches, with a particular focus on small farmers and their communities,” he added.

ATAS, whose members include agricultural researchers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, practitioners, farmers, members of agricultural NGOs and others interested in tropical agriculture, aims to lead research on tropical agriculture and to develop cutting-edge innovative practices for food production.

Its current projects focus on rural development, marine aquaculture, plantations and urban agriculture.

ATAS will also organize its first International Conference on Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) from May 26 to 28, 2022. The conference aims to bring together leading scientists and academics, agro-techno-entrepreneurs, as well as agro-practitioners , community leaders and NGOs to exchange and share their experiences, their research results, their best practices and their successes on all aspects of tropical agriculture.

Lana T. Arthur