The Malaysia Agriculture Park
The Malaysia Agriculture Park is the first and so far the only agro-forestry park in the world. Initiated by the Agriculture Ministry in 1986, the Park displays the various agricultural forms and modes used in the country againts a splendid backdrop of virgin jungle. The main objective of the 1,295 hectare park is to serve as a permanent exhibition centre for the development and progress of agriculture in the country. It also aims to act as a referral and research centre for the various fields of agriculture such as farming, animal husbandry and fish rearing. Ultimately, it is hoped that the Park would provide the inspiration and the impetus for the growth and development of the country’s agricultural sector.
Its beauty and uniqueness of Malaysia Agriculture Park have prompted the Ministry to open up the Park to the general public so that they too may savor the splendor and the wealth of the nation’s agricultural heritage. The response to the move has been so encouraging that the Park no longer confines itself to just serving the local populace but caters for a fast growing number of foreign tourists as well. The development of the Malaysia Agriculture Park along its agro- forestry concept is an ongoing process. In due course, more attractions will be developed in accordance with the master plan for the Park. At present the following attractions and facilities are found in the Park.
Malaysia Agriculture Park Attractions
There are many ways of acquiring knowledge. The formal system through schools, colleges and universities almost compels one to learn in a structured manner. Many knowledgeable people especially in the past never went to schools or universities. They learned by inspiration – an inner desire and thirst for knowledge triggered perhaps by curiosity.
The Birds of Borneo, for example, was written by a forester trained in botany, while the Birds of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Penang, was written by a civil servant trained in administration. It was only their thirst for knowledge that made them experts in birds of a country foreign to them. Watching, observing, recording and exchanging information with friends on a topic would make one an expert one day even without formal education.
Where would the world be today without man’s curiosity leading him to investigate and explain the manner of things? Man has erroneously claimed to have made discoveries of the elements of nature, when he has in fact only uncovered its mysteries. By unraveling these mysteries man gained information and knowledge. He then used this knowledge for his benefit or at times for his own destruction.
Research ranges from simple observation to exceedingly complex integration of disciplines in a planned effort. Even simple but keen observation can lead to spectacular knowledge e.g. the Archimedes Principle. The Agriculture Park offers a wide range of subjects for the curious mind to uncover additional mysteries of the natural world.
Every child would have been told that “all work and no play makes Mat or Mek a dull boy or girl”. The human mind and the human body is constantly subjected to both physical and mental pressures, at school, at work, at home and at times more so while driving in a car. Have we ever though of giving our body and our minds a ‘reward’, in the form of relaxation? Most of the busy people will say, they have not time. Come on, give yourself a break. Visit the Agriculture Park with your family.
Conservation means different things to different people. To many, it connotes the protection of wild nature, to others, it may be the protection of the forest, or soil or the sustained production of natural resources e.g. minerals, fossil, fuel, fisheries, wild animals and birds, etc. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources interprets conservation in a much broader sense to mean “the achievement of the highest sustainable quality of living for mankind by the natural utilization of the environment”.
The expression that the world is shrinking could mean different things to different interest groups. In the communication sense the world has shrunk because we can reach every corner of the world in seconds through the telephone. Modern means of transportation has made it possible to have breakfast, lunch or dinner at different capitals of the world on the same day. To the environmentalists, the world has become too small for the growing population. Whatever the expression conveys, one of the major impact of the “shrinking of the world” is the increase in tourism.
Pay a small fee and walk into an integrated orchard of exotic fruits and eat to your heart’s content. That is reality when the fruit trees in Bukit Cahaya Seri alam forest come to bear by the year 2000. In the meantime the caretakers of the orchard are busy preparing the arboretum for your impending visit.
An arboretum is a collection of living trees, grown in a specific area like a living album to be savoured at leisure. At the arboretum in the Agriculture Park, a 40-hectare expanse of land has been planted with indigenous fruit trees so that visitors may view a comprehensive variety of trees whose fruits have delighted Malaysians for ages. In the fruiting seasons the onlooker may experience the added wonder of seeing the actual fruits at different stages of maturity, still growing and ripening on the trees.
In shifting agriculture, practiced by the Orang Hulu of the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, the forested areas are cleared for cultivation with root crops or rice for a period of time after which they move to new areas. At Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam, agro forestry was introduced as a land-use system in which fruit trees and herbaceous crops were grown in association with the large forest trees.
Agro forestry has productive functions, such as the capacity of the tree components to produce timber, fruits and herbs and service functions, the most important of which is soil conservation and also fauna and flora conservation. Soil conservation contributes to control of erosion and maintenance of fertility. With the current interest in sustainable agriculture and forestry, the combination of production and conservation of resources on which the production depends, is a step in the right direction.
LAKE AND FISHES
Though water is the fountain of life, few of us realize how little of this precious material is available to us. This sound ironical when three-fourth of the world is covered with water. The ocean and the seas make up about 97.3% of the global water resources. Only a petty 0.009% is fresh water that makes up the lakes and rivers and is available as our water supply.
Malaysia is fortunate to have a great deal of fresh water supplied in the form of rain that fills up our reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams each year. In spite of this blessing we can run short of this precious commodity. It must be remembered that humans must share this water with the other living things such as fishes, plants and animals. It is a limited commodity with growing demand by the growing population and industrial expansion.
THE ORNAMENTAL GARDEN
Visitors to the glorious formal gardens of Europe marvel at length, the visual beauty and symmetry spread before their enchanted eyes. This grand botanical artistry has been nurtured by centuries-old tradition in Europe, not unlike the elegant rock and water gardens of Japan and other great civilizations. The temperate countries have one disadvantage – the four seasons limit the green display to only part of the year. But visitors to the Agriculture Park can experience the unique splendor of extensive formal gardens at the Ornamental Garden all the year round. The sunny tropical climate makes this beautiful living exhibition a permanent affair.
The old saying that traditions die hard may no longer be true in a world where changes are occurring at a speed never before imagined. Traditions have to be preserved or they will die. The once beautiful Malay kampungs in the states of Malacca, Pulau Pinang and around Kuala Lumpur are fast disappearing, replaced by artless brick and mortar cubicles. Utilitarian architecture has won over the aesthetic and traditional form of architecture, that once adorned the Malaysian countryside.
ANIMALS AND BIRDS
The association of man with animals and birds dates back to the day when he first appeared on earth. When he knew nothing about crop cultivation, he had already encountered animals for his own survival.
Soon after, man learned the usefulness of animals for food, clothing and labor. In less developed societies, animals are indispensable as beasts of burden providing traction and transport for millions of peoples and tons of goods. Besides providing high quality food, their waste is used as fuels and fertilizers.
One of the greatest gifts of God to mankind is rice. There is no other crop more important to the majority of the people on this earth. It has even become the choice cereal of the astronauts. It is the undisputed staple food of teeming millions of Asians.
Rice is one of the most remarkable crops, capable of growing on dry hillsides or the water-logged swamplands. There are thousand of varieties suitable for growing on a very wide range of agro climatic conditions. The floating variety can thrive in water 20 feet deep.
Had orchids been found naturally in the Lake District of England there would have been numerous odes to this class of plant that bears some of world’s most beautiful flowers. Their exquisite colors, delicate patterns and intricate morphology have inspired and fascinated mankind from ancient times till this day.
Malaysia can certainly claim to be the home of natural orchids with more than one thousand wild species found in its forest. Today orchid collectors and enthusiasts have developed many hybrids with larger flowers and more color and hue combinations for commercial exploitation.
HIKE THROUGH THE FOREST
The biggest asset of the Agriculture Park is its forest. Some 3,000 acres of the park is covered with forest that has been preserved since 1953. Malaysian forests appear quite impregnable from the outside because of the thick undergrowth on its outer fringe. Once you penetrate this barrier the interior of the forest is quite roomy because little sunlight reaches the floor of the forest, thus preventing the proliferation of bushes, creepers and other plants.
At the Park, forest tracks have been made for jungle-bashers to see for themselves what a tropical rainforest is like. Pack your haversack and hike with your friends at the break of dawn. When the first morning light streaks through the gaps of the jungle foliage and the thin veil of mist rises into the air, the sound of birds greet the beginning of the day. The slanted rays of the sun reflect against drops of water on the young leaves of a struggling sapling, sparkling like diamonds against the jade leaves.
WINTER IN THE TROPICS
It is steaming hot with temperatures reaching 27 C and humidity 85%. There is hardly any breeze and the unelaborated sweat glues your shirt to your body. Walking through a forest when the sun is high is exhausting and sticky. That is what winter is like at sea-level in Malaysia.
But technology has changed all that. Hidden snugly among the trees of the Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam rainforest is a spot of creativity and innovation where technology coaxes nature to misplace itself. For here it is real winter with snow, icicles and temperature below -5 C.
This Park will not escape the natural changes wrought by time and the development designed by man. The planners of the Agriculture Park, however, want to direct the changes that will be complementary and not contradictory to nature.
The forested areas of the Park will be allowed to mature undisturbed, consequently towering trees with large girth and solid branches will dominate the forest. Standing more than 150 feet above the ground and supported by massive buttress roots, the majestic dipterocarps will crowd the forest where once only small trees reigned. The secondary forest of Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam will mature and stabilize into a “primary” forest.
Malaysia Agriculture Park is one and the only park in the world with agro forestry concept. It covers an area of 1,258 hectares and is divided into demonstration plots for agriculture activities.
Malaysia Agriculture Park is opened to public everyday except on Mondays. However, The Park will be opened to visitors on Monday if it is a public holiday and during school holidays.
Malaysia Agriculture Park Facilities
Bus Services, Bicycle Rental, Pony Ride, Horse Cart Ride, Jungle Trekking, Food Stalls, Accommodation, Lamping
- Tuesday – Sunday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Monday – Closed (Except when Monday is a Public Holiday
Malaysia Agriculture Park Fees
Park Entrance Fees as follow:
- RM3.00 for adult 12 years and above
- RM1.00 for children 4 to 11 years old
- RM1.00 for visitor above 55 years old
Other charges as follow:
- RM1,000.00 Film Shooting
- RM5.00 License for Fishing
- RM5.00 Bicycle Rental for 1st hour and RM1.00 subsequent hour
Separate entrance fees payable at Four Season House as follow:
- RM3.00 for adult 12 years and above
- RM1.00 for children 4 to 11 years old
Cultural Village Renting Fees as follow:
- RM500.00 for normal day
- RM550.00 for weekend
Malaysia Agriculture Park Adress
Malaysia Agriculture Park
Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam,
40000 Shah Alam,
Administration/Office Tel. No.: +603 5510 6922 / 6923 / 7048
Booking Unit Tel. No.: +603 5510 7048
Fax: +603 5510 0922
By Public Transport
Board the KTM Komuter train from KL Sentral to “Shah Alam” station. Then take a taxi to the park with approximately 10 kilometers or 20 minutes.
Below is the route map directory from Federal Highway exit to Malaysia Agriculture Park.
Entry credit to Simon’s Blog