To Press Releases listKerpan,Feb 20, 2014
In an initiative to further reduce the rice-farming environmental footprint, leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company – Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad – signed a collaborative agreement with local higher institution, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) for a two-year scientific research to improve existing paddy planting methods that are being used at the Nestlé rice contract farms in Kedah.
Through its contract farming initiative called the Nestlé Paddy Club, the Company will team up with UTAR to conduct researches in three specific areas, namely environment, food safety and agronomy, which will involve investigations on the production yield of paddy in various aspects.
"We are honoured to be given the opportunity to work together with one of the country's prestigious universities such as UTAR, whom we proudly share a common goal with, which is to find ways to protect and preserve the environment," said Mr. Alois Hofbauer, Region Head of Nestlé Malaysia and Singapore.
"The collaboration further reiterates the Company's aim of minimising the environmental footprint of rice farming, while increasing the farmers' income by improving yields and reducing costs. It is also in line with the Nestlé Creating Shared Value approach, through which, we are proud to demonstrate yet again, that it is possible to do well, by doing good," added Hofbauer.
From the environmental aspect, the partnership will see Nestlé Paddy Club and UTAR conducting an experiment at the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm in Sik, to measure water savings and methane emission reduction through the Nestlé Semi-Aerobic Rice Intensification (SARI) method.
The second area of research, which is focused on food safety, will involve conducting a fundamental research on minimising heavy metal absorption by rice plants through approaches such as mosquito fern supplanting, activated carbon applications and microbes-digestors.
For agronomy, both parties will use different microbes and micronutrients to naturally augment soils and effective micronutrient applications for soil correction, in hopes of ascertaining a solution that could benefit farmers with regard to maintaining a healthy soil scenario.
"The UTAR-Nestlé partnership is a purposeful initiative for both parties to team up and leverage on each other's strengths to foster collaborative R&D and innovation. The synergy between Nestlé, a leading multinational food industrialist with long-term R&D commitment and UTAR, a university with strong research network, would help to nurture intellectual human capital and advance performances and capabilities for the industry," said Acting President of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Professor Dr. Ewe Hong Tat.
Launched in February 2012, the Nestlé Paddy Club is a proactive and innovative approach to provide additional income to paddy farmers while bringing about environmental benefits through the commercialisation of the SARI method, thus resulting in a win-win-win situation for People, Planet and Profit.
This initiative is also in line with the business philosophy of Nestlé, known as Creating Shared Value, which is to provide value not only for their shareholders but also the community it operates in to enable the company to be successful in the long term. The Company focuses in three areas: Nutrition, Water & Environment and Rural Development.