The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) has developed the Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) and TrichoSHIELD technologies. These should improve the volume of local banana and chilli production and cultivation.
The ISR addresses the banana blood disease and increases trees’ resistance to pests, while TrichoSHIELD, which is a bio-fungicide, has the capability to control the anthracnose fungal disease in chilli crops.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said these technologies will be commercialised through third parties in the next six months. He told themalaysianreserve.com: “Banana is a popular fruit crop in Malaysia with an area of up to 30,684ha and generating 345,850 metric yields. However, the country’s banana industry was threatened by a disease in 2007 called the banana blood disease or the bacterial wilt disease.”
TrichoSHIELD is a local Trichoderma-based biofungicide specifically developed for the control of anthrax disease in organic and conventional chilli plants formulated in the form of talc powder.
The average domestic demand for chillies stood at 55,420 tonnes a year in 2018, while the domestic production was only at 24,428 tonnes, resulting in local suppliers seeking external sources for more than 30,000 tonnes.
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