KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) remains committed to boosting oil palm and rubber yields through the application of technologies such as the satellite navigation system and smart irrigation.

Deputy Minister II, Datuk Willie Mongin(pix) said the ministry has implemented several measures to increase the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, especially in increasing the yields of the aforementioned commodities.

He said this in reply to a question from Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (BN-Besut) in the Dewan Rakyat today on the ministry’s efforts to increase oil palm and rubber yields through Smart Agriculture methods.

Currently, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board is applying IoT technology in the oil palm sector through the utilisation of geospatial and drone technology, as well as the Geographic Information System and Oil Palm Resource Information System (OPRIS), he said.

OPRIS is a system that identifies and provides geospatial information on oil palm plantations, soil types, agro-climatic conditions as well as suitable and potential areas for oil palm cultivation.

“The system also assists in the mapping of Sustainable Palm Oil Clusters and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification areas.

“These types of information will help in better plantation management and subsequently increase oil palm yields,” he explained.

As for the rubber industry, he said, Big Data analytics has been used for the purpose of smart nutrient management in rubber cultivation areas.

The development of this database can boost rubber growth and productivity, he said.

Meanwhile, the Global Positioning System (GPS) has also been utilised as an indicator to ascertain replantation activities by smallholders, said Willie.

“Technology is also used for irrigation management to understand and link the water cycle of oil palm and rubber ecosystems with the environmental and climate change, which in turn helps to improve management and production of better quality yields.

“The government is always open to making improvements from time to time,“ he added.

Apart from that, the deputy minister had also emphasised the importance of the commodity industry which contributes between 20 and 25 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year, noting that in 2020, the industry contributed RM180 billion to the GDP.-Bernama