LAGUD Seberang Agricultural Park in the interior division of Tenom is a must-visit for tourists.
Situated within the Park, which doubles as a research centre, are the Native Orchid Centre, the Living Crop Museum, the Ornamental Garden, the Hoya Garden Evolution Garden, the Agro-forestry area and two lakes – Sapong and Rundum.
One can trek along the trails or spend the whole day, admiring the various species of orchids, both natural and hybrid.
Bringing along a guide will enable visitors to understand and appreciate the wonders of Lagud Seberang.
Our guide during an outing to the Park was Alexius Making who showed us the interesting aspects of the place that would otherwise have escaped our notice.
According to him, the Park is located within 500 acres of the 1,500-acre research station, administered by the Agriculture Department Sabah.
It comprises the Agriculture Research Station, the Seed Production Centre for Cash Crop, the Farmers’ Training Centre and Taman Pertanian Sabah itself.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad officially opened the Park in 2001 although the public were already able to visit it the year before.
There are visitors throughout the year, notably during the fruit season.
“There is an abundance of fruits to choose from,” Alexius said, adding that the Park also had a wide collection of indigenous and introduced plants species – for instance, the native Orchids of Borneo which were rescued from logged out areas in the forests.
According to the Orchid Centre guide Samuel Tion, there are about 300 wild orchids with the most fascinating being the Elephant Ears and the Lady’s Slippers.
Some 3,000 people visit the Centre annually.
Meanwhile, Alexius said within the natural orchid garden, there were many other plants, including those previously grown for food.
The four-acre Hybrid Orchid Garden itself boasts 400 species. The colourful hybrids are a sight to behold but they are only for public display as the cuttings are not for sale.
Our next stop was the Evolution Garden which highlights changes in the heritable traits of a population (flora and fauna) over successive generations.
The mutation of genes over time could have resulted in the evolution of certain species or development of new species from existing ones.
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