KUALA LUMPUR: A veteran soil scientist has proposed the establishment of a Soil Museum at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) main campus in Serdang to serve as a reference centre for sustainable land use planning for agriculture, food security and soil conservation.
Ahmad Ebon, a former Head of the Science Department at UPM, said such a facility could provide leadership to champion sustainable land use management, promoting public awareness on the role of soil resource for human survival especially to the younger generation.
The facility if established would be backed by various divisions such as Geology, Agromomic, Advisory and Research, he said.
” We have noticed that lack of basic agricultural knowledge such as on soils and land topography where new areas have been bulldozed for agricultural development and later problems crop up causing great financial loss and environmental damage,” he told Bernama.
” All these could be avoided if there is proper planning and seeking advice earlier from this proposed centre. Prevention is better than cure,” Ahmad said.
He also suggested that all state governments pass a law that would ensure that for any future development in their areas involving movements of soil, soil surveys must be conducted by a team of experts and recommendations based on scientific facts should be strictly adhered to avoid the recurring problems related to soils in the country.
Ahmad said he had formed a four-member team comprising of fellow soil scientists to lobby for the project to be implemented.
On possible sources of funding to get it started, he said the national oil corporation Petronas, Sarawak’s own oil company PETROS as well as multinational Shell would be the ideal contributors.
“Other sources of funding would be the timber companies which builld their wealth from trees which have grown naturally over 100 years on the ‘soils of Malaysia’,” he added. — BERNAMA