KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recognised the Nuclear Agency of Malaysia (Nuklear Malaysia)’s major achievement in plant mutation breeding and associated bio-technologies to enhance food security, by using radiation to breed better crop varieties.
Nuklear Malaysia in a statement Tuesday said the agency was named as one of the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award in Plant Mutation Breeding during the 65th IAEA general conference held in Vienna, Austria on Monday.
“Nuklear Malaysia director-general Dr Siti A’iasah Hashim received the award from IAEA’s director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi,” according to the statement.
Nuklear Malaysia said the award ceremony recognised the contributions on plant mutation breeding from 28 researchers and research teams of institutions from across 20 member states in three categories which are outstanding achievement award, women in plant mutation breeding award and young scientist award.
The statement said Siti A’iasah in her speech after the award presentation thanked FAO and IAEA for recognising Nuklear Malaysia’s effort in applying radiation mutation breeding to increase the nation’s food self sufficiency level and security.
She said Malaysia’s new breed of rice NMR 152 has significantly increased small farmer’s income by at least 40 per cent and some even by 100 per cent.
The statement said in 2020, the same research team had also received Excellent Research Team Award (Mutation Breeding Project) during the 21st Forum For Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) Ministerial Level Meeting.