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Daily, we are bombarded with graphic images of dying fish, bleached coral reefs and shorelines awash with litter. Our most precious resource, the oceans are in trouble. Climate change wreaks havoc with rising sea levels, warmer oceans, higher CO2 levels and greater salinity.

IS THERE A BEACON OF HOPE? YES, YES, YES! It comes from an unanticipated corner of Permaculture, a practice that accommodates principles of Permaculture relevant to the oceans. 

Let’s face it, our oceans are being robbed of vitality, protein-rich fish stocks and nutrient-filled cool waters. CO2, greenhouse gases, overfishing are the main culprits. Is there light at the end of the ocean?

By Roger Rodrigo

Perhaps there is. Scientists across the globe are finding a new nugget in the fight against climate change. Kelp or giant seaweed has one outstanding benefit compared to mangroves, salt marshes and seaweed meadows - it absorbs more CO2 than all these habitats.

Discover what researchers are doing in places like Tasmania, California and the United Kingdom:

system of rice intensification 4 728International webinar: June 23, 2021

Agroecology & Community” organised by the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming (BAPA) under the auspices of the Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas).
Speaker: Prof. Emeritus Dr Norman Thomas Uphoff
Cornell University, USA
Theme: Agroecological Opportunities with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and System of Crop Intensification (SCI)


 In a way the webinar paid homage to a selfless innovator in the person of Fr. Henri de Laulanié, S.J., who created the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of farming in 1983 after spending years experimenting in the field. 

IoT-enabled farm in Kuala Langat sees increased yields through AGRITECH

Anyone passing by Kampung Sijangkang in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor may have noticed red chillies growing out of black polybags.

For onlookers it might be just another farm, sprouting like many others across the state.

Lo and behold looks can deceive too.

The farm located on a 0.8-hectare site is far from ordinary though. It heralds the era where technology becomes a decisive factor in determining how a farm operates and whether it can succeed as a business.

The farm employs the Internet-of-Things or IoT using a smart farming system developed by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Though still considered somewhat of a lab rat or an experiment the farm has recorded cost savings in time and power and better yields as well.

The IoT spp can be downloaded on both Android and IOS smartphones, providing accurate data on farming. The sensors will pick up data such as readings about the volume of fertiliser or pesticide in the tanks, status of the irrigation pumps, humidity level and temperature, crop growth timeline, type of crop, date of cultivation and automatic harvesting and crop yield records.

A cloud computing system stores all the data that is collected from multiple sensors located in the field. Data from the sensors is uploaded to the cloud every 15 minutes. To know real-time conditions such as temperature or humidity levels field assistants just need to print out the relevant data.

Other agencies too are developing sensor technology for agriculture. MIMOS, the country’s ICT research and development hub is developing IoT technology that will simulate pollinators of oil palm flowers.

As part of its agricultural drive, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has also developed a platform for users and local exporters to track the standards of durians. It uses big data analytics and allows consumers to check details like authenticity and logistics data by scanning the barcode on the fruits. The agency plans to roll it out to a wider range of products after testing initial reception.

MDEC first initiated a pilot project in 2018 to spur the yield and quality of crops utilising the latest technologies, via a public-private partnership with the Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Kuala Langat (PPKKL).

It has seen farmers adopting an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled fertigation (combining fertilisation and irrigation) system that helped them reduce monthly fertiliser usage by 20%, lower monthly manpower requirements by 25%, and increase the overall quality of yield (Grade A chillies) by up to 90%.

`According to a report in FOCUS Malaysia – “The use of digital technologies to propel our agricultural sector forward is expected to be reflected in the upcoming 12th Malaysia Plan and National Agrofood Policy 2.0 as high potential drivers and sources of growth for the nation.”



 International webinar: May 21, 2021

Agroecology & Community” organised by the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming (BAPA) under the auspices of the Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas).

Speaker: Assoc Prof Dr Norida Mazlan, Head Department of Plant Protection Faculty of Agriculture, Universal Putra MalaysiaTheme: Impacts of Agrochemicals on Agroecology

Crop yields have risen with the arrival of fertilizers and pesticides but at what cost?


One of the early highlights in Dr Norida’s presentation put the spotlight on available arable land weighed against the backdrop of the population engaged in agriculture.

Here the contrast becomes sharp with arable land figures declining from nine hectares per person to 0.2 hectares currently. Yet in the crucial area of agriculture and thus, food production only 1.4 billion people were involved from a total of seven billion people.


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