MPOB, IBG commence trial on solution for ganoderma infection

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Mohd Hefni (right) explaining the cause of basal stem rot disease to Chan.



Source: The Borneo Post

MACHAP (April 1): The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), in collaboration with IBG Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, has commenced the trial for their latest innovative solution, the iM-bioGuard biofertiliser.

Infused with the potent bacteria Pseudomonas, this biocontrol fertiliser combats the fungal pathogen Ganoderma boninense, which is the cause Basal Stem Rot (BSR) disease.

Also known as the “cancer” of oil palm, BSR is one of the most severe diseases afflicting oil palm farms in major producing countries, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, resulting in enormous economic losses of RM1.5 billion each year.

The MPOB patented technology – iM-bioGuard is the first liquid type of biofertiliser that is designed to cater for easy absorption by the oil palm trees, making it possible to significantly reduce the damage caused by Ganoderma disease.

A demonstration on its first application was held during a working visit of Deputy Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Chan Foong Hin to Machap Estate, owned by United Malacca Berhad (UMB) on Thursday, March 28.

Chan expressed optimism about the potential impact of iM-bioGuard, remarking, “The introduction of iM-bioGuard represents a significant milestone in our collective efforts to mitigate the devastating effects of Ganoderma on the oil palm industry.”

“I hope that by starting the first trial with UMB, it can help to increase crop resilience while promoting environmentally sustainable practice.”

According to Dr Mohd Hefni Rusli, head of plant pathology and biosecurity at MPOB, extensive testing in nurseries and fields has demonstrated the technology efficacy in combating both artificial and natural Ganoderma infections.

“Ganoderma boninense poses a grave threat to plantations, causing substantial economic losses in Malaysia and Indonesia.

“Although the disease progresses slowly, it is difficult to intervene as the pathogen spreads via root-to-root contact and causes damage to the oil palm xylem system, ultimately resulting in palm death,” he said.

On top of that, MPOB and IBG Manufacturing have signed a commercial agreement to introduce the technology to the industry. This collaborative endeavour signifies a united front in advancing sustainable practices and safeguarding the future of Malaysia’s oil palm industry.

In addition to the demonstration, attendees had the opportunity to witness UMB’s innovative harvesting operations and mechanised infield collection techniques.

The estate’s commitment to sustainable land use was further exemplified through intercropping projects, including stevia and pepper cultivation, in consultation with relevant agencies such as the Malaysian Pepper Board.

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