EcoFarm Management Center Inaugurates PETIK Project in Collaboration with Kundasang Aquafarm


In a significant stride towards sustainable agriculture and academic excellence, the EcoFarm Management Center (EcoFarm) at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) recently celebrated the inauguration of the Highland Agriculture Research and Learning Center (PETIK).

This momentous occasion marked the culmination of a fruitful collaboration between UMS and Kundasang Aquafarm (KAF) in advancing research and learning initiatives in highland agriculture, particularly in the picturesque locale of Kg. Mesilau, Kundasang.

The ceremony, graced by the Vice-Chancellor of UMS, Professor Datuk Dr. Kasim Hj. Mansor, underscored PETIK’s pivotal role as a hub for pioneering research and educational activities in highland agriculture and agro-tourism.

Prof. Kasim emphasized PETIK’s significance as a platform for sustainable agricultural management practices, a testament to the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) inked between UMS and Kundasang Aquafarm.

Initiated in 2021, the collaborative efforts between UMS and KAF materialized with the completion of PETIK’s first phase development by 2023/2024.

This phase saw the establishment of 10 fully equipped greenhouses, complete with hydroponic facilities for the cultivation of leafy vegetables and fruits. Prof. Kasim hailed the completion of this phase, highlighting the commencement of planting and initial sales activities as a promising step towards realizing PETIK’s objectives.

The PETIK project extends beyond academic boundaries, serving as a platform for industry engagement and community empowerment.

Prof. Kasim reiterated PETIK’s commitment to nurturing future agricultural leaders by providing hands-on training opportunities for students from various universities. This holistic approach, he emphasized, aligns with the university’s ethos of fostering meaningful collaborations between academia, industry, and society.

During the ceremony, accolades were extended to Azizul Julirin, the Managing Director of KAF, who received the inauguration certificate. The event also witnessed the symbolic planting of coffee trees alongside the harvesting of leafy vegetables from the hydroponic system, emblematic of PETIK’s multifaceted approach towards sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Januarius Gobilik, Director of EcoFarm, highlighted PETIK’s broader objectives, including soil stabilization initiatives and the cultivation of high-value crops like Arabica Catimor coffee. He stressed the project’s dual focus on research and agro-tourism, emphasizing the active involvement of local communities in ensuring its success.

Beyond PETIK, EcoFarm continues to spearhead sustainable initiatives, including the development of the AFEEDRI Life Sciences Laboratory in Apin-Apin, Keningau, aimed at fostering entrepreneurial activities and supporting student research endeavors.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by key dignitaries including representatives from the Sabah Development Institute and various academic departments within UMS, underscored the collective commitment towards advancing sustainable agriculture and academic excellence in the region.

As PETIK sets its sights on a promising future, it stands as a beacon of innovation and collaboration, poised to make significant contributions to the agricultural landscape of Sabah and beyond.



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