| Azlan Othman |
FRUITS Farmers Field School (FFFS) was set up as one of the programmes to enhance fruit farming management and productivity.
The programme is one of the continuous efforts of the Department of Agriculture and AgriFood in supporting the government’s aspiration to increase the production of fruits in the country.
The ongoing course at FFFS focusses on watermelon, banana and pineapple plantations. It began on February 16 and is carried out every Monday and Wednesday on a full-time basis for four weeks at Birau Agriculture Research Station and Kilanas Agriculture Research Centre.
Some 30 participants comprising farmers and fruit entrepreneurs are taking part in the course to enhance their capability in producing quality fruits, to enhance their farming knowledge and skills, to improve the management and productivity of fruit farm, to share information on the fruit industry as well as to encourage farmers to interact, discuss and share experience in the plantation.
Course instructors are made up of experts from the department, and the classes touch on the status of fruit industry, culture and agronomy practice, managing land and nutrients content, farm pest management, post-harvest management, processing and marketing aspects.
The participants were briefed on the fruit industry by Awang Haji Latif bin Haji Ahmad, Head of Fruits Industry Unit and Rural Agricultural Development; watermelon management by Awang Takiyaudin bin Haji Mohamad, Head of Fruits Development and Research (PreDec); pest management for watermelon by Awang Noorazri bin Haji Md Noor, Head of Farm Protection Unit; land and water management by Izanuddin bin Haji Bujang, Head of Farm Nutrient and Land Science Unit.
The participants also carried out a practical session at the nursery and farm site for watermelon at Birau Agricultural Research Unit.