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Unimas Sets Up First Centre For Sago Research In Region

on 07 Ogos 2010.

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) has set up the Centre of Excellence for Research in Sago Palm-CoESAR, which focuses on four main research areas, namely agronomy, molecular genetics, starch technology, and processing and usage of waste from the sago industry.

Its vice-chancellor Prof Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid said the establishment of the centre, the first in the country and region, was approved by the university's Senate on July 14.

"In line with Malaysia's development policy of focusing on biotechnology, it is only apt that research on sago should result in the creation of more products as achieved by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board," he said at the official opening of the centre by Sarawak Housing and Town Planning Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, here, Thursday.

He said the research on agronomy would focus on land and plantation development, disease control and large-scale cultivation, while molecular genetic research, on improving sago genomes, starch synthesis and proteomics in producing protein.

The research on starch technology involves modification of sago starch into sugar, fermentation process to produce lactic acid and production of ethanol as biofuel, while research on the sago downstream industry involves using the sago palm fibre to make furniture and use of the liquid waste from processing sago for culturing with microalgae to produce protein and biodiesel.

Khairuddin said the researchers at the centre came from various fields and had long been involved in sago research.

He said the research work costing RM12.9 million would be funded through grants given by various parties like the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Higher Education Ministry and the New Energy Development Organisation (NEDO) of Japan.

Abang Johari, in his speech, said from the research conducted, revenue from the export of value-added sago products could increase through the starch modification process.

"In this respect, the government needs input, assistance and suggestions from researchers for the sago industry to develop to the level of the palm oil industry," he said.

Sago starch is one of Sarawak's most important commodities with an annual export of 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes worth over US$10 million in revenue.

Extracted from BERNAMA

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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