By: Siti Nur`Ain Feisal
SERDANG – Megachilli Project Workshop 2021, continued with the second and third series conducted by alumni mentor Kamarulridhzuan Razali (alumni class of 2018). The alumni mentor is an Agronomist who is building success in the field of mega cultivation in various types of crops, one of which is the cultivation of chillies in several agricultural estates such as Selangor, Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and also Melaka.
In his second workshop, he shared his knowledge by bringing the topic of 'Seeds and Planting Methods' while in his third workshop held on 4 July 2021, he shared about 'Plants Care and Harvesting'. Both workshops are conducted virtually together with participants of the Megachilli Project 2021.
In his third workshop recently, Agronomist Kamarul shared tips and inputs on how to work on farms to reduce the incursion of huge losses. According to him, fertigation farming is fascinating and can produce lucrative returns if it is carried out in an orderly and systematic manner.
"Before harvesting, do not be afraid to fall. This field is very challenging but as UPM students with the motto of 'with knowledge we serve’ especially agricultural graduates, the ups and down in this field is the first step towards a successful entrepreneur. If you venture into this field with the desire to become entrepreneurs, think about costs and profits. If it involves cost and profit, this is a challenging career and should be done diligently and utilised all the knowledge learned in the university optimally," he said.
Fertigation is fascinating
Participants were also exposed to identifying fertilisers, the right method to handle the cultivation of chillies in plastic bags before they are moved into the actual plantation area.
Kamarul also reminded the participants to be mentally and physically prepared and knowledgeable before starting their cultivation. Knowledge in terms of selection of seedlings, soil type, watering and ventilation systems, types of insects, types of fertilizer and changes in each crop should be taken into account.
"It is not wrong to start with small-scale cultivation first to gain experience. For example, you may start by planting 30 chilli plants before going to larger figures such as 500 to 1000 saplings. Surely the small scale care of the saplings is not the same as that of large scale. But at least the knowledge is gained," he said.
The participants were also exposed of good selection of seedlings and the selection of suitable polybags according to the type of crops.
For a chili plant, polybags 12x12, 14x14 and 16x16 are best suited to use. The use of appropriate polybag size will stimulate the reproduction of a good root system and in turn will be able to stabilize the plant. The selection of the wrong size of polybags will affect the root system where the roots will be stunted, thus affect the growth of the plant.
The polybags have three different colors, black, white, black and white. Commonly used for commercial cultivation purposes is black polybags because they are more durable between two to three years.
The one-hour session was fully utilised and at the end of the workshop, the participants asked the panel questions to better understand the essence of the discussion. Most consider the one-hour workshop to be very beneficial to them before 2021 MegaChilli Project kickstart.
The upcoming workshop offers interesting discussion topics and alumni mentor invited as panels possess extensive knowledge and experience in their respective fields to help participants to realise the MegaChilli Project 2021.
Alumni Relations Centre UPM through the Industry Networking And Alumni Grants Section will always offer conducive networking to ensure that all programs are conducted to achieve the objectives and targets set by the university.
Date of Input: 11/07/2021 | Updated: 30/09/2021 | alif.isnain
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