As the main objectives of the fieldtrip are to view the integrated system farm, therefore we have to relate this fieldtrip with our subject, Sustainable Agriculture. Based on the definitions of the sustainable agriculture, it is defined as an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term: a) Satisfy human food and fiber needs,
b) Enhance environment quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends, c) Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, were appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls, d) Sustain the economic viability of farm operations, and e) Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole. Hence, there are several principles in sustainable agriculture must comprise of which are economic viability, environmental sound and socially.
These principles we can found it in MARDI station Sg. Baging as we tour around in the station. Sustainable agriculture Principles’: 1) Economy viability Economically viable means that the farmers can produce enough for self sufficient income and gain sufficient returns. Economic viability is measured not only in terms of direct produce but also in terms of functions such as conserving resources and minimizing risks also. 2) Ecologically sound Ecologically sound means that quality of natural resources is maintained and the vitality of the entire agro-ecosystems from human beings, crops and animals to soil organisms is enhanced.
This is best ensured when the soil is managed and the health of crops, animal and human is maintained through biological processes. 3) Socially Just Socially just means that the resources and power are distributed in such a way that the basic need of all members of society are met and their rights to land use, adequate capital, technical assistance are assured. All people should have opportunity to participate in the decision making.
After understands what is mean by these principles, hence, we, as the students have to relate on which criteria that MARDI station Sg. Baging portrayed. Sustainable Agriculture at MARDI station Sg. Baging Some of the criteria that are showed by MARDI station Sg. Baging are: 1) Economic viable i) Varieties of Livestock Products| MARDI station Sg. Baging has successfully breed local sheep with Dorper sheep species from African that are high quality in meat. This species are great meat producers which can reach a live weight of 90-120 kg and ewes 50-80kg. It is suitable to sale in domestic market and international sale of prime lamb meat. Currently, MARDI sale it based on demand.
Besides, its wool also can be commercialized as material for pillow. | ii) sheep dung as manure products| In addition, sheep dung from Dorper species also can be used as biologically manure for plants here and also can be commercialize. About 25 kg, these manures are sold at RM 5 while RM 7- RM8 for treated one. One of the staff on duty said that the sheep dung is collected in built drain near the sheep -pen and it will move to manure trap behind the sheep-pen. It does not have any uncomfortable smell as the staff insert in food pallets products named Genkimo that use a technology to make it less odor.
| iii) Commercialize screwpine coconut product| Besides, there also plants Screwpine Coconut or also called as ‘Kelapa Pandan’. It is tasty, sweet, and has a thick layer of coconut flesh. It is suitable for coconut shake and coconut jelly to be commercialize. It is sold at RM 1. 50 for each coconut. | | | 2) Environmentally sound i) Uses of natural sources of water| For drinking water, watering the plants, the station used underground water sources by using a machine that is called tube well. It is function by using generator and also can be handled manually.
It is not only used as sources of watering and drinking but also use for other necessity like washing the instrument, cleaning the sheep-pen and others. Even though, the station is near the sea, but it is not salty and can be used as drinking water for the animal without treated. | iii) Integrated pest management| The uniqueness of MARDI is they apply integrated pest management as one of the system in handling pests. It is a system that are friendly to environment where it is also count in Air Index in the respective area before treat the plants.
Before treat, they will analysis what disease attacks the tree to avoid repetition of treatment. It is not only waste the pesticide but indirectly also pollute the air in local area if conduct frequently. Therefore, integrated pest management is about biologically control of the disease and attacks of pest and periodic treated of pests using pesticides. | iv) Biologically control of pest (natural)| For protecting the fruits from fruits flies, they wrap it with newspaper. It is a method| | |