ARAU: Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) has become Malaysia’s first public university to conduct research on hemp (a member of the cannabis sativa species) as an agricultural product with the potential of being economically developed in the future.
Its vice-chancellor, Professor Zaliman Sauli said for that purpose, UniMAP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kuala Lumpur-based company MyUS Hemphouse Sdn Bhd.
“As we know, hemp production must be done under strict control. It can also become a new economic resource for the country in the future as there are developed countries that have allowed the use of hemp for commercial purposes.
“Through the MoU, research and development can be carried out at UniMAP and focus will be given through Institut Agroteknologi Lestari (Insat) in Sungai Chuchuh, Padang Besar on an area of 0.8 hectares,” he said here today.
The MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also UniMAP chancellor.
Zaliman signed the MoU on behalf of the university while MyUS Hemphouse was represented by its chief executive officer Nellsen Young.
UniMAP and MyUS Hemphouse will conduct research on hemp cultivation procedures and applications as well as focus on functional materials for agriculture, especially organic farming, to improve the country’s agricultural products.
“Through this agreement, research activity regarding crop planting can be conducted successfully and the university-industry partnership can be strengthened,” said Zaliman.
MyUS Hemphouse is one of the companies that has worked with the Malaysian government to obtain permission to grow, maintain and manage hemp cultivation as well as produce innovative hemp-based products in the use of composite fibre, bio-diesel, medicine, therapy and healthcare.
UniMAP through Insat will provide facilities including land for the cultivation of such crops, whereas MyUS Hemphouse will be responsible for providing infrastructure facilities, technical resources and assistance for research and development activities.
Meanwhile, Young said his team will apply to the government for permission to bring in hemp seeds into the country and will start the planting process.
“We are now in the midst of getting government approval to bring the seeds in. Perlis has a suitable climate for the cultivation of hemp,” he added.