NILAI — Ancom Crop Care Sdn Bhd, a unit of conglomerate Ancom Bhd, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) to collaborate in the pre-commercialisation of MCB’s patented microbial formulations.
The MoU was inked, together with a non-disclosure agreement, by MCB director general Norhaini Udin and Ancom Crop Care Sdn Bhd managing director Lee Cheun Wei last Thursday at the Cocoa Innovation and Technology Centre here in Negeri Sembilan.
Norhaini said that with the MoU, MCB and Ancom have agreed to collaborate in the development of the patented microbial formulations for commercialisation, which further enhances public–private partnerships.
“MCB is looking forward to strengthen the cooperation with Ancom pertaining to the subject matter, either via licensing or patent acquisition.
“The collaboration between MCB as a government agency and Ancom being from the private sector is considered imperative in the field of research, as the private industry often possesses advanced technologies and equipment to boost research output initiated by government agencies mostly in labs,” she said.
Lee, meanwhile, said that the relationship between MCB and Ancom has been longstanding and expects the relationship to become stronger in the years to come.
“The commercial capability of Ancom and research capability of MCB is a perfect match to take the new product to the market,” he added.
The microbial formulations act as a biocontrol agent, which was developed by MCB senior research officer Ahmad Kamil Mohd Jaafar, and is considered a new technology in the integrated management of black pod disease and cocoa pod borer on cocoa.
The microbes in the formulation are able to produce a state of biological surface-active substance or “biosurfactant” which makes it unfavourable for insects, like the cocoa pod borer, to lay eggs and procreate on cocoa pod surfaces.
Having realised the distinctive potential of the patented formulation, MCB is looking forward to having Ancom, a renowned company in crop protection industry, to be its collaborative partner in developing the patent to make it commercially viable, and turn it into a highly effective product for the domestic and global market, Norhaini said.