SERDANG : Cauliflowers which are normally grown at high altitudes now can be cultivated at lowland areas through a technology developed by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said this technology was expected to reduce the country’s dependence on imported cauliflowers, as to date, the domestic production involved only 535 hectares in Cameron Highlands, Pahang and Kundasang, Sabah.
“We will disseminate the findings to farmers and those with the capacity to venture into this field can obtain the technical information from MARDI.
“For those who lack the capacity, there are programmes under the ministry such as the Youth Agropreneur Programme and food production assistance from Agrobank which the operators could apply for this purpose,” he said when launching the technology, here, today.
Kiandee said the vegetable, originating from the Mediterranean area, could generate income for farmers due to the high local demand with per capita consumption of 1.95 kg a year.
He said the production of local cauliflowers was at 4.66 tonnes per year while the cauliflowers imported ue from China were valued at RM280 million in 2018.
Kiandee said as a result of MARDI’s four-year research, the cauliflower cultivation areas could now be expanded with the involvement of a larger number of farmers and lower costs of production, transportation, marketing and operations, compared to its cultivation on highlands.
“The technology is a complete production package that begins from seeds variety determination to agronomy practices for high yields, pest and disease management as well as produce quality control after harvest.
“The C2 variety has been identified capable of producing quality cauliflowers despite being planted in high temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celcius,” he said, adding that it also has the same taste as the cauliflowers grown on highlands.
“Harvesting can be done between 75 and 85 days following cultivation inside a rain-protection structure with side or open netting, which is about a week earlier from highland farming.