Delving into the field of agriculture might not be the most preferred by many but a brilliant young woman has set an example by going to the extent of studying Agribiotechnology in the United States in order to perhaps someday bring about revolutionary farming that will enhance the agricultural sector in Malaysia.
Taking upon her social media, Dr Mahaletchumy Arujunan, one of the prominent figures in the field of Biotechnology in Malaysia proudly shared that Saarani Vengadesen was selected to attend a short course in Agribiotechnology hosted by Michigan State University, touring in Michigan, St Louis and Washington DC to see researches, farming and policies that are related to GMO Crops.
According to Non-GMO Project, GMO or genetically modified organism is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Saarani Vengadesen, the Project Manager at the Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC) shared on her Instagram that she has visited a GMO sugar beet research farm, a GMO Potato Field trial and had dinner with local farmers to learn and discover their methods of farming.
She further explains that GMOs are genetically modified organism that helps to improve the yield of crops. GMO crops that are commonly planted in Michigan state are corn, soybeans and sugarbeats.
Speaking about her agricultural tour, Saarani said “We are used to seeing smallholder farmers in Malaysia but in the US agriculture it is done on a large scale whilst still done sustainably with huge machinery. Today, the field trip was a great example that science does not stay in the lab and it helps to enhance people’s socioeconomic status.”
Saarani is a UMS’s Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology holder and also a University Malaya’s graduate in a Masters of Development Studies..
Not only that, she highlighted that agriculture is not all about farmers planting, harvesting and bringing it to the market. “Agriculture is a highly regulated industry that involves various stakeholders and there are various stages before the seeds reach the farmer’s hand,” said Saarani who also is also a Science Journalist at The Petri Dish.
According to the Petri Dish website, Saarani is determined to bridge the gap between science and policy development as science plays an integral role in the pursuit of economic, social well-being and sustainable development.
She strives to utilise science as a tool to promote women empowerment, rural development, sustainability, job creation, poverty eradication and economic growth of a country.
Besides, this brilliant woman is a trained science communicator passionate about educating the public with credible science-based information.
It is reassuring to witness young people wanting to learn about agriculture. Agriculture is the practice of cultivating natural resources to sustain human life and provide economic gain.