KUALA TERENGGANU: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is conducting several studies to reduce costs related to the production of agricultural products in the country.

Its deputy minister, Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim (pix), said the recent increase in the prices of food products, including vegetables, was not only due to the decrease in production, but it was closely linked to the supply of fertilisers and pesticides.

He said among the studies being carried out by MOSTI was the use of pesticides and agricultural fertilisers, by applying nanotechnology to increase the yield of agricultural products and at the same time reduce costs more effectively.

“Yesterday, we just discussed the use of nanotechnology fertiliser, although the price is quite high, the quantity involved is very low. The spraying does not need to be done many times as its nutrients will be released more efficiently.

“Besides, we will also see the use of technology through the Malaysian Space Agency to plan the applying of fertiliser and spraying pesticide more effectively.

“This is one of the things being studied on how we can assist agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) to reduce costs,” he told reporters after officiating Kuala Terengganu district-level Teachers Day here today.

Ahmad Amzad, who is also Kuala Terengganu MP, said one of MOSTI’s focuses was to implement various initiatives with other ministries to strengthen the country’s food security.

“The ministry’s latest success was the production of a new padi variety, IS21, developed by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency. It can produce up to nine tonnes of padi per hectare, compared to three tonnes previously,” he added. — Bernama