By Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh
AYER KEROH, Melaka, Okt 20, 2020 – The University Community Transformation Centre (UCTC), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), has recently guided 36 prisoners and staff of the Dusun Dato Murad Agro Prison here to plant Napier grass and produce high-quality silage.
The project under the Knowledge Transfer Grant Scheme (KTGS) aims to guide prisoners on crop cultivation and management methods as well as Napier grass agronomy practices to produce adequate and high-quality livestock feed resources.
Project leader, Dr. Martini Mohammad Yusoff, said they received a request from the prison which suffered from a shortage of food resources in the care of their cattle, goats and sheep.
Meanwhile, she said, the method of making silage is also important in the process of preparing livestock feed because it can be stored and can be used when experiencing food shortage problems such as during drought and floods.
"This knowledge transfer package is complete as it includes the stage of planting, caring for and harvesting Napier grass until the production of silage which is used as a source of livestock feed in prison," she said here together with co-researchers, Dr Shokri Jusoh and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hawa Jaafar from the Faculty of Agriculture, UPM.
Director of Dusun Dato Murad Agro Prison, Tuan Zamzuri Ghani, said the knowledge was not only able to be practised by the prison community, but they also managed to produce silage by utilising technology by UPM researchers and give future ideas in the field of new entrepreneurship to prisoners.
"There are prisoners who intend to undertake livestock rearing projects by using Napier grass as a source of livestock feed after the end of their detention period," he said.
Napier grass is a type of perennial grass which is resistant to pests and plant diseases, as well as produces high biomass, in addition to the high nutritional value as livestock feed.
Based on the findings from the evaluation of the five types of Napier grass grown, the Kobe, Purple and Taiwan varieties are suitable to be grown commercially because of their high biomass and nutritional value for livestock.
In addition to being fed and sold fresh, Napier grass can also be processed into silage that is produced from the process of anaerobic fermentation to be given to ruminant livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep especially when there is a shortage of food resources. It is also suitable to be used as a feedlot system for beef production. - UPM
Date of Input: 23/10/2020 | Updated: 23/10/2020 | hairul_nizam
University Community Transformation Centre (UCTC UPM), Industry and Community Relations Building, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor Darul Ehsan