|International Society for Horticultural Science|
Horticulture Research International
Malaysia lies near the Equator between latitudes 1 and 7 °North and longitudes 100 and 119 °East. Malaysia is subjected to maritime influence and the interplay of wind systems, which originate in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. The year is generally divided into Southeast (April to October) and the North-east (October to February) Monsoon seasons. The average daily temperature throughout Malaysia varies from 21 °C to 34 °C. Humidity is high at around 80% and the rate of evaporation of 3-4 mm day-1. The yearly average precipitation is high at more than 2500 mm and average daily solar radiation of 15-20 MJ m-2.
Malaysia is divided into two, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia, covering 131,598 km2, borders Thailand in the north and Indonesia in the west, Singapore in the south and the Philippines in the east. East Malaysia, covering 198,069 km2, borders the territory of Indonesia's Kalimantan in the south and the Kingdom of Brunei in the middle. In Peninsular Malaysia a mountainous spine known as the Main Range runs from the Thai border southwards, effectively separating the eastern part of the Peninsula from the western part. The most prominent range on East Malaysia is the Crocker Range with an average of 457 to 914 m. About four-fifth of Malaysia are covered by tropical rain forest. Peat can be found along the middle and southwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the northwestern coast of East Malaysia. Eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia is covered with sandy and sandy loam soil. Clay and lateritic soils can be found along the northeastern coast and central parts of Peninsular Malaysia respectively.
All aspects of horticulture can be found in Malaysia, including fruit growing, vegetable production in the open and under protected structures, and ornamental cultivation.
Distribution of Horticulture
Tropical fruits are widely grown either in mixed or single fruit orchards. Major fruits include banana, watermelon, durian, papaya and pineapple. Except for the pineapple, which is grown on peat soil, other fruits are grown on mineral soils, which can be found nation-wide. Pineapple is widely grown in the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia and also in the northern western part of East Malaysia. Temperate vegetables and flowers are grown on the highlands, whereas tropical vegetables and flowers are grown in the lowlands. Flowers are mainly grown under protected structures, whereas vegetables can be grown either in the open or under protected structure. Landscape trees are getting popular and efforts are being made to increase the production.
The main research thrust is the Ministry of Agriculture.
Nature of Institutes
Horticultural research is a priority in the Malaysian Third National Agriculture Policy (1998-2010) in order to increase domestic food production and increase export. Research is primarily conducted by research institutions, such as:
1. Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), under the Ministry of Agriculture, and
2. Malaysian Institute of Nuclear Technology Research (MINT), under the Prime Minister's Department.
However, several local universities also conduct limited research on some aspects of horticulture. These universities include:
1. University Putra Malaysia, and
2. University Kebangsaan Malaysia, both under the Ministry of Education.
Organisations / Institutes:
Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
University Putra Malaysia