UNIMAS Community Projects With Masjid Darul Naim, Petrajaya
Faculty with the Community: Introducing Gula Apong to the World
A local Spaoh co-operative, the Koperasi Apong Saribas Berhad, plans to produce two Nipah palm-based products, Borneo Apong Honey and Borneo Apong Vinegar soon. According to its spokesman Rasli Muslimen, the co-operative has acquired a building at the Spaoh Agriculture Station for its factory. Rasli, a local from Spaoh, is also a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Faculty of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas)
He said the co-operative is collaborating with the university’s Apong Research Group (ARG) in the production of both products. Rasli said ARG had developed and patented a hybrid digital control cooking stove to process the raw Apong sap into honey.
“We are funded by Unimas, Teraju and the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Development for the two projects. The idea is to help the local Iban and Malay communities and others here generate income to raise their living standard,” he said.
“We will need about six months to prepare including upgrading our premises at the Spaoh Agriculture Station. We need to follow MeSTI (Makanan Selamat Tanggungjawab Industri) standard besides the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) as well as the ‘halal’ certifications for our production. We will begin production after doing and acquiring all these. Our production will be hi-tech where the quality and hygiene aspects will be much better. As I have mentioned, our cooking stove will be digitally controlled,” he added.
Rasli said although Gula Apong or Apong sugar was produced traditionally and using wood for heat source, the hygiene aspect is a major issue. Rasli added among others, the Borneo Apong Honey would be a good substitute for sugar while the Borneo Apong Vinegar can be used in food preparation. – Borneo Post.
CEO Visit To TERAJU-UNIMAS Lab
September 21, UNIMAS welcomed an honourable visit from TERAJU delegation led by their CEO Tn. Hj. Md Silmi Abd Rahman to TERAJU-UNIMAS Lab. The visit aim to witness the progress of the project under Dana Pembangunan Usahawan Bumiputera (DPUB) Sarawak 2019 funded by TERAJU. UNIMAS successfully secured RM 2.15 million grant under DPUB Sarawak 2019 for the development of Apong Industry in Kg. Tambak, Tg. Apong and Kg. Spaoh and Smoked Fish in Tebelu. Faculty of Engineering Dean, Prof Ir Dr Hjh Siti Noor Linda Bt Taib, project leaders and members, and top management of faculty welcomed the delegation. TERAJU-UNIMAS Lab is developed as research centre to support research and development activities of the projects. During the visit, there was short presentation on the achievement of Apong Research Group (ARG) followed by discussion on the lab development planning and also potential collaboration with the faculty in the future.