Malaysian Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, together with 60 Malaysian entrepreneurs, farmer leaders, federal parliament members, explored collaborative options with BIOTROP on bioenergy and other agricultural production and businesses during their visit on 13 October 2014.
In welcoming the delegation, BIOTROP Director Prof Dr Bambang Purwantara expressed his appreciation to the Minister and delegates for taking interest on the Centre’s programs and activities and to eventually establish possible collaboration. The Director emphasized the long standing collaboration between Eastern Global Agrotech Sdn. Bhd, a Malaysian company, and BIOTROP to develop an innovative business using Japanese Taro as a functional food with global market potential. In response, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili also thanked the Centre for accommodating their visit. He said that the visit was in support of the Malaysian Government’s thrust to expand partnership with research and development institutions in the region such as BIOTROP in the field of bioenergy and green technology. He added that the visit aims to enhance the mindset among Malaysian entrepreneurs, particularly in Sabah, to pay more interest to invest on bioenergy and green technology.
During the visit, BIOTROP Deputy Director for Resource Management Dr Irdika Mansur briefed the group on the Centre’s, programs and activities, the scope of service within the Southeast Asian region, and collaborative options between the Malaysian business group and BIOTROP on various aspects particularly on bioenergy and green technology development.
On the other hand, BIOTROP scientist Dr Supriyanto shared his experiences to the group in developing sorghum as a bioenergy source other than for food, feed, fertilizer, and fiber. Dr Supriyanto mentioned that sorghum development is a promising area for collaboration between Malaysian entrepreneurs and BIOTROP considering sorghum’s high level of adaptability, low requirement for agricultural inputs, and ability to grow well in dry conditions.
During the visit, Dr.Sopyan Hadi, Head of Research and Development Agency of Bengkalis Regency, the Province of Riau also shared his work on nipah R&D as source of bioenergy. Bengkalis Regency is one of BIOTROP's partners.