8 May 2018 (Tuesday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Lembaga Kemajuan Johor Tenggara (KEJORA) on 6 May to collaborate in mengkuang planting research in Kg. Tuan Seh agricultural land, Mukim Sedili Besar, Johor.
FRIM was represented by Deputy Director General (Operations) Dr Khali Aziz Hamzah at the ceremony whilst KEJORA by General Manager Norazman Othman. The aim of the MOA is to conduct research and development (R&D) cooperation in establishing a mengkuang farm at the village.
The project covers preparation of planting materials, quality testing of the planted mengkuang leaves in line with downstream products which will be developed.
KEJORA provides an area of 12.5 acres as well as the funds for the research while FRIM offers expertise in the development of the mengkuang plantation, identifying the suitable mengkuang species and testing the quality of the mengkuang leaves.
The collaboration is expected to contribute towards providing a new perspective and direction for the country’s handicraft industry as well as indirectly supporting the government’s aspiration to inculcate the culture of sharing knowledge through ‘technology transfer’. It is the result of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two parties in September 2017.
KEJORA plans to develop the area as a handicraft-based agrotourism centre. Its proposal covers the setting up of a germplasm including collection of mengkuang seeds, a centre for mengkuang-based products as well as an information centre.
Also held at the ceremony was the exchange of MOU documents between KEJORA and SIRIM for an entrepreneur development and business transformation programme. Also present, KEJORA’s Deputy General Manager (Operations) Hamzah Isa; SIRIM Senior General Manager Zulkifli Abdullah; SIRIM Southern Region Director; Zulkefly Songip and FRIM Plantation Forest Head Dr Wan Rasidah Wan A. Kadir.