A successful Fungi Day 2018 program organised by the Laboratory for Pest, Disease and Microbial Biotechnology (LAPDiM), under the School of Food Science and Technology has received a response from students and local communities in Terengganu.
The Fungi Day 2018 is a second-time program organized at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu while the first time was organised in 2014. This year, various programs have been organised in conjunction with this event such as seminar, mushroom-based cooking competitions, mycology exhibition and sharing sessions of interesting info on Fungi Kingdom. The organisation of the program has also been collaborating with students who are currently undergoing industrial training from National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan and Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
The first time for Panji Alam Secondary School, Kuala Terengganu participated in this program to gain new knowledge through presentations by Professor Yu-Chung Chiang, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan, researchers from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Dr. Andrew A. Ngadin, Dr. Siti Nordahliawate Mohamed Sidique, Dr. Wan Hafiz Wan Zainal Shukri and a speaker from the Agrotech Mashaf Industry, Afizah Mat Sulaiman.
According to the head of Fungi Day 2018, Dr. Andrew A. Ngadin said fungi play an important role in the balance of an ecosystem as well as economic importance. Fungi often found in terrestrial and aquatic environments (marine and freshwater), and are part of a diverse community of “decomposers” that break down dead plants and animals. Also, fungi transform organic matter into forms that can be utilized by other decomposers, and into food for plants.
“He added that his team intends to organize the same program on a larger scale in the future and will involve other organisations such as the IUCN, Species Survival Commission (SSC), Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball Specialist Group and Chicago Botanic Garden, USA to let more people will understand the importance of fungi in the ecosystem, conservation and introduce new policies to protect fungi. Also the latest planning for organizing the Southeast Asia Fungi Red List workshop will be held in 2019.
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