Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Kuching is the first school in Malaysia to have an orchid in-vitro laboratory to propagate local orchid species to ensure its species posterity.
Sarawak Orchid Society (Saroso) president Zurenawatte Zaidel said that for a start, over 20 local orchid species are being propagated in the lab by four MRSM students.
She said the project started last year, and if successful, it will be set up in other schools throughout Sarawak.
Four students will represent Sarawak at the International Orchid Conference in Taiwan in March next year, she said.
Meanwhile, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai thanked Saroso together with Dr Simon Pugh-Jones and team for sharing their expertise and knowledge to MRSM potential young plant scientists.
He added that the orchid industry of neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore is very advanced, boosting their tourism and floriculture industry. This is because the awareness of these countries on the strength of orchid beauty and its benefits. As such, to produce large supply of orchids, these countries have invested in commercial micro-propagation.