In an effort to bridge the gap between theory and practice, the Innovation Centre in Agritechnology for Advance Bioprocessing (ICA) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Pagoh Campus has launched an initiative aimed at equipping students with hands-on urban farming skills. This unique program not only imparts knowledge on sustainable agriculture practices but also cultivates a deeper understanding of the food production process. The highlight of the initiative is the incorporation of hydroponic systems within a cutting-edge greenhouse facility where students are gaining practical experience in cultivating a range of crops, including a recent successful venture involving a polybag cultivation of brinjal vegetables.

The concept of urban farming has gained significant traction in recent years as the world grapples with issues such as food security, environmental sustainability, and the impacts of climate change. UTM’s initiative serves as an exemplary model of how academia can play a pivotal role in preparing the next generation to address these challenges head-on.

Recently, a group of students from Pagoh Vocational College embarked on an immersive project that involved setting up a 200-polybag cultivation of brinjal, a popular vegetable known for its versatility in culinary delicacy. Under the guidance of experienced instructors and researchers, the students navigated the intricate process of preparing the polybags, selecting appropriate seedlings, and establishing the hydroponic system that would nurture their crops.

The impact of UTM’s urban farming initiative extends beyond the campus, as well. Collaborative efforts with local communities have led to the establishment of urban gardens in vacant city spaces, transforming once-neglected areas into vibrant hubs of fresh produce and community interaction.

As the program gains momentum, it is evident that UTM’s commitment to experiential learning is yielding impressive results. Students who were once strangers to the complexities of agriculture are now equipped with a toolbox of skills that extend far beyond their academic pursuits. The university’s emphasis on sustainability and innovation positions its participants as pioneers in the evolving landscape of urban agriculture.

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