MARDI Seberang Perai is the first research station in operation. Research activities began in 1972 in buildings and areas on loan from the Department of Agriculture in Bumbung Lima. In 1981, the research station received 150 hectares of land in Bertam and the area was developed into an office complex and research facilities. MARDI Seberang Perai was officially opened in 1991 and supported by research stations in Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor. The Centre of Excellence for Rice Research & Innovation, MARDI Seberang Perai plays a role in rice development including the development of varieties, pest and disease management, providing fertilizer and nutrient management packages, introduce innovation in mechanisation and automation, implement transfer and commercialisation of technologies, facilities for Rice Gene Bank and as a centre for National Rice Foundation Seed production.
The focus of research and development includes the development of high yielding varieties with high quality rice, cost-effective production systems with emphasis on optimum use of inputs, management of pests, diseases and weeds as well as the development of postharvest handling technologies and efficient product development. Research and development in MARDI Seberang Perai has successfully produced 43 rice varieties since its inception. Apart from that, the production of Integrated Pest Management packages, postharvest handling technologies and mechanisation of rice production systems has been successfully developed. This is where the new rice varieties and innovation are developed and utilised by more than 296,000 farmers covering an area of 350,000 hectares or 95% of the paddy fields in Malaysia. In conjunction with the opening ceremony, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were also exchanged between MARDI and several private companies.
The opening ceremony of [email protected] was officiated by Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry. Also present at the event was Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Rezal Merican Bin Naina Merican, MP for Kepala Batas, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Haji Roslan Bin Saidin, Pinang Tunggal assemblyman, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Mohd Fadil Bin Osman, Chairman of the Board of Governors MARDI and the Honourable Dato’ Dr. Sharif Haron, Director General of MARDI.