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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

HAVE FOOD, HAVE POWER (Part 3)

"HAVE FOOD, HAVE POWER" it is clear when he starts talking about the subject that it is a topic close to the heart of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. Without a doubt, “food sovereignty” is not just a buzzword for the 57-year-old politician who has been overseeing the country’s agricultural affairs for over a year now. Even after a long, hot, afternoon ploughing through the new maize (corn) farm in Kampung Dadong, near Kemaman, Terengganu, Ahmad Shabery is indefatigable as he shares his aspiration to make the country self-sustainable in its agro-food production, and more. Food sovereignty, or the rights of a nation to produce its own food and not depend on imported food supplies to feed its population, is an important policy for Malaysia to adopt, he stresses. “Our country is currently importing more food than it is producing and exporting, which puts us at the mercy of foreign countries,” he says, referring to Malaysia’s food import bill last year, which was reported at RM45.39bil. Our food export amounted to only RM27bil, leaving us with a deficit of over RM18bil. It is a heavy economic burden, and that is why the Government has been aiming at self-sufficiency for some time, he adds. Once we achieve self-sustainability in our food production, it could eventually lead to food sovereignty.


7. To expand our agricultural activities and increase our agro-food production so that we can attain food sovereignty, we need to encourage more young people to go into the field. How can we do that?
We have to prove that agriculture can guarantee a good life. True, some people say they are going into agriculture because of their love of farming or nature, and they say they don’t care about the money. In the long run, however, it will not be sustainable. We need to break the old myth that farmers are poor, that there is no money in farming, and they need aid. The minute you can prove that one can have economic stability and prosperity through agriculture, you can draw young people into the field. We also need to build up “Agriculture icons” and develop “cool farmers” who are modern, adept at technology et cetera. I think more and more people are losing interest in or getting fed up of office work. They don’t want to dress formally or wear suits and be tied to their desks every day. I think many young people now aspire to work out in the open and be close to nature and dress casually in jeans and t-shirt. We need to build these images and types of personalities to change the old perception on agriculture.


8. We already have a National Agro-Food Policy 2010-2020, so how does this and food sovereignty factor into it?
Livestock is not mentioned in our National Agro-Food Policy for some reason. I’m not sure why. And while we have highlighted food security in that policy, it is not enough. We have to do more. Food sovereignty means you are more than secure, you are supreme - you have power and strength as a food producer and can penetrate other markets in the world. In some agricultural countries like Denmark, for example, they don’t talk about producing 100% or 200% of their food needs, they are actually looking at producing 700% of their needs, so that they can conquer the world markets with their food products. It’s the same in countries like Norway and Switzerland, among others. They are small countries but they are producing more food that they need because they are looking at food as a tool for supremacy and diplomacy. Even in the US, the second prominent state building in Washington is the Department of Agriculture, underlining the importance of the agro-food sector. In the US’ DoA, for example, they have about 1000 economists and other experts who understand climate change, genes, seeds - all looking at how to develop policies that will make their country stronger. We can say that we are secure now, but if there is war, we might lose our sovereignty.

Original info from local newspaper and published.

Rearranged by,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Kg Dadong,
Kemaman,
Terengganu,
Malaysia.
(Attended the official grain corn planting by Minister)

Monday, October 9, 2017

PINNING FOR THE DAYS OF PINEAPPLE

PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus) are lergely grown ini Malaysia for many years as an important for estate and smallholders. There are about 14,500 hectares of pineapple grown in Malaysia in 2016 producing a revenur for RM515 million. To talk about that the highways now zig-zag across the state, there were once pineapples. Johor was once a place thriving with pineapple plantations. What’s more, Malaysia was once the world’s top pineapple producer, but has since lost out to Thailand in recent years, says Lee San Yee. He should know. He is the factory manager of Lee Pineapple Company, an 85-year-old pineapple processing company and pioneer of Malaysia’s pineapple industry, which survived the difficult days of the Japanese occupation and is still standing tall today. “Many of the pineapple factories and canneries here have closed down due to increased competition from Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia which have surpassed Malaysia in pineapple production,” he said. Malaysia is now ranked as the seventh largest producer in the world. He said that during the company’s zenith, its factory could harvest about 400,000 pineapples per day in 2000. But the yield has decreased to about 100,000 fruits per day now.

The plantation’s overall size also went down from the initial 4,046.8ha to some 2,428.1ha, bringing down production by 50% in the past seven years. The company exports its pineapples to Japan, the United States, the Middle East and European countries. The company, which specialises in the growth, canning and exporting of the fruit, was founded in 1931 in Singapore, which was part of Malaya then, before it moved to Johor in 1938. During the war, Japanese troops bombed a bridge behind the factory at 8 ½ Mile Jalan Skudai in Skudai. Lee said the bombing damaged a large part of the factory. But the owners and some 600 employees had to soldier on to keep themselves and the business alive. Although Lee was not born then, he recalls the stories told by the retired workers. “The Japanese soldiers forced us to continue production to supply the fruits to their troops, who enjoyed eating the pineapples. We were not allowed to sell our products to others. “Our retired employees related their experience of being frightened at the sight of the armed soldiers who were constantly moving about in and around the factory. “Luckily the company managed to see the Japanese flee from the country before we achieved independence,” he said when met here.

The factory, which still has the original vintage façade and yellow signage from when it was established then, has since been repaired. It processes pineapples from its Simpang Renggam plantation and 80% of the products are exported. The company exports pineapple juice, syrup and canned fruits to Japan, the United States, the Middle East and European countries. Lee, who has been with the company for the past 46 years and is not related to the owners, added that as time passed, many pineapple factories in Johor could not withstand against the competitive economy. “There is a huge demand, but we just cannot meet it due to the lack of plantation workers to harvest the fruits. “The labour shortage is a big issue for us because Malaysians simply do not want to work in this labour-intensive sector,” he said, adding that this was one of the company’s toughest periods in its history. The company has about 500 plantation workers, with 90% of them foreigners. But it needs about 1,000 workers to fully achieve its full potential, Lee said. “Workers have to stand the heat and because pineapple trees are short, there is no shade from the hot sun and they have to constantly bend over to harvest the fruits manually,” he said of the harvesting work. Lee said the company hopes to sustain its production for many more years to come. It’s because it has become one of the country’s household brands remembered by many Malaysians.

Lee showing the tins of canned pineapples grown
and produced by the 85-year-old brand.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,

Pekan Nanas, Pontian,
Johor, Malaysia.
(Adapted from The Star Online)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MARUNGGAY - THE HEALTH BENEFITS

 
What is moringa? .
For me as senior agronomist familiar that the Moringa (Morringa oleifera) and also known as the Miracle Tree, is a multipurpose plant, as the leaves, pods, fruits, flowers, roots and bark of the tree can be utilized. It is also referred to as Drumstick Tree by the Britishers. In the Philippines, they are referred to as malunggay or malungay. Others refer to moringa as horseradish tree, benzolive tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, moonga, nébéday, saijhan, sajna or Ben oil tree.

What are the health benefits of moringa?
Scientific research confirms that these humble leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value. Gram for gram, moringa leaves contain: SEVEN times the vitamin C in oranges, FOUR times the Calcium in milk, FOUR times the vitamin A in carrots, TWO times the protein in milk and THREE times the Potassium in bananas.
There are many benefits of the moringa tree, but the health benefits are the most important. Research has shown that various parts of the moringa tree can be effective in a significant number of health concerns. Here’s a quick look at a few of them:

Moringa is rich in Vitamin A. It contains four times more Vitamin A or beta-carotene than carrots. Hence, it is a weapon against blindness.
It is also a rich source of Vitamin C many times more than oranges.
Normally milk is said to be a rich source of calcium but the amount of calcium present in moringa leaves is way higher than in milk.
The moringa leaves are said to contain two times the protein present in milk.
Bananas are a rich source of potassium. But moringa leaves contain several times more potassium than bananas.
Along with potassium, zinc is also found in large quantities in moringa.
If moringa leaves were to be eaten by one and all, the world will be free of anemia as it contains three times more iron than spinach.
With all the junk food eaten these days, many people face problems of high cholesterol. Moringa helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body.
Essential Amino acids are also found in moringa.
Moringa is also said to balance sugar levels, hence it is helpful in the fight against diabetes.
The body's natural defense mechanism increases with the consumption of moringa in the daily diet pattern. Since it is an immunity-stimulant, it is prescribed for AIDS afflicted patients.
Moringa leaves can be consumed to stimulate metabolism.
It is also said to have digestive powers.
It is a nutrition booster and is known to promote a feeling of well-being in people.
If you are looking for non-sugar based energy, then moringa leaves is the answer. Thus, it will also help in the weight loss process.
The cell structure of the body is stimulated by the moringa leaves.
It is especially useful for lactating mothers. The consumption of moringa has shown dramatic increase in the quantity of breast milk.
It is also famous for its anti-bacterial properties.
The paste of the moringa leaves is said to beautify the skin and is hence applied by women regularly.
It protects the liver and kidneys.
It can also be used as a water purifier.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor Bahry,
Johor, Malaysia.
(7 August 2017)

Friday, September 22, 2017

AN ENGINEER BECOME A CHILI FARMERS?

In Malaysia when an engineer become a successful chili farmers was reported in the newspaper. As an example Mr Wan Fazli Wan Padila, 30, thought he would never trade his dream job for any other job in the world. He was an engineer with a multinational company in Shah Alam, Selangor and got a big paycheque. But, three years ago, he ventured into chili farming in his back yard in Jengka 23, Maran, Jerantut, and has never looked back. In addition to his chilli farm at the Temin Agriculture Centre in Jerantut, Wan Fazli also operates a chili farm with about 500 trees in Sanggang, Temerloh, Pahang. He also invested in a 3ha sugarcane plantation in Lanchang. The third of six siblings, Wan Fazli obtained his diploma in mechatronics from De Montfort University, Malaysia Campus in 2001. He then worked for eight years in Shah Alam before changing his career. "Throughout my stay in Shah Alam, I adopted the same work routine for years. And, at the end of the month, I would get my salary. "When I could not see my future in the company, I packed my bags and returned to my hometown to venture into farming." With limited knowledge of agriculture, he sought advice from several people about crops before investing RM3,500 (S$1431) of his savings to plant 100 chilli trees. "It was a gamble that paid off. The demand for chillies began to increase and I began to supply them to grocery shops. In 2009, I enrolled for short courses at Institut Skill-Tech, an agricultural college, in Malacca. "When I returned, I started operating in Kampung Gintong before securing a piece of land at the Temin Agriculture Centre, which was a major boost to my farming venture." Last year, he took on a friend as a partner, before expanding his chilli farm to Sanggang.

Later that year, the partners rented 10ha in Lanchang to plant sugarcane and corn. With higher demand for chillies from grocery shops and restaurants, Wan Fazli set up Global Heritage Resources with two other friends. They are enjoying brisk business. "While one of them helps me manage the farm in Sanggang, the other does the marketing. "We hired agents to promote our chilli products, especially chilli seedlings and fertilisers. "We also sell chilli seedlings at the night market here, and offer training to those who are interested in chilli farming." This year, three students from Institut Skill-Tech did their practical training at his chilli farm. As Wan Fazli had no assistants, their arrival was a win-win situation for both. "I provided them with meals, accommodation and gave them tips on chilli farming. Since they are here, I can go to schools and check on the students' chilli fertilisation projects." A bachelor, Wan Fazli said he enjoyed his new lifestyle, which taught him to be more committed and disciplined."I miss spending time with my family and friends, but I believe these are sacrifices I must make to have a better future. "People used to advise me to continue with my engineering degree so that I could earn more money, rather than slog under the hot sun, but I have made up my mind and have no plans to work in an office." This newspaper report showing the success story of chili farming in Malaysia forr others to knows. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
TKPM Lanchang,
Temerloh,
Pahang, Malaysia.






Sunday, September 17, 2017

CHILI CONTRACT FARMING - A STORY


HAVE you ever wondered about the story behind your favourite bottle of Maggi Chilli Sauce before savouring it with your meal?. It starts out with the planting of seeds, and then cared for with sufficient amount of water and sunlight for the plants to grow healthily, all within a month. The plants then move into their vegetative phase for the next two months before bearing chillies. The chillies are then harvested throughout its remaining lifespan of three months and delivered to the sorting facility before being sent out to the manufacturing plant to be processed into your favourite condiment. The bottle of delicious chilli sauce would not be possible if not for the dedication and hard work of the people behind Kulai Chillies at the rural farmers in Kelantan. A group of city dwellers were recently brought to the suburban areas of Kelantan to learn about the various roles and efforts involved in producing a bottle of Maggi Chilli Sauce. Mind you, the chilli sauce may look deceptively simple, but planting the chillies is hard work. This article I share in "Anim Agriculture Technology" regarding a report published by local newapaper on the supply of fresh chilies as a testimony for chilies industries in Malaysia.

According to Nestle agricultural services manager Yong Lee Keng, chilli is one of the hardest crops to grow, regardless rain or shine. “In a bid to provide these farmers an increased source of income by helping them grow quality raw materials, Nestle Chilli Club (NCC) was formed in 1995 to work together with them. “The NCC contract farming scheme is a collaboration between Nestle and Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Bukit Awang (PPKBA),” said Yong during a media visit to the PPKBA office in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan. Through NCC, farmers are given training on best agricultural practices to improve and grow quality chillies that meet stringent standards as well as exposure to sustainability and environmental concerns. In return, Nestle gets a reliable source of quality fresh chillies while offering a secure market to the farmers with a fair market price. Up to 90% of the chillies produced under this scheme are purchased by Nestle, estimated to meet 60% of Nestle’s fresh chilli requirements for its products. “The season for chilli planting and harvesting is from March to October as we don’t want to fight nature during the monsoon season,” said Yong, adding that the target quota for each season is 200 tonnes of chillies.

PPKBA general manager Wan Anuar Wan Ismail explained that the farmers harvest twice a week and the produce is transported to the collection centre at PPKBA office where quality chillies are sorted and their stalks removed before being transferred to a cold room. “We have five cold rooms with temperatures set between 3°C and 6°C to ensure the freshness of the chillies is preserved before transporting them to the manufacturing plant in Petaling Jaya,” said Wan Anuar, adding that it is best to harvest chillies when they are half green and half red as they will be fully ripen upon processing. The process of removing stalks provides job opportunities to villagers who are paid 20sen to 30sen per kg of good quality chilli. To-date, there are 80 farmers under NCC who produce a regular yield of fresh chillies across 32ha of land for the production of Maggi Chilli Sauce. After the visit to PPKBA's office, we met up with some of the farmers at Gong Kemuning, one of the areas where the chilli farms were located. Abdullah Said, 68, has been a farmer under NCC since 2006. He started with 1,000 chilli plants and now has a 0.6ha land of 4,000 chilli plants. “I harvest 8,000kg to 9,000kg worth of chillies a season which fetch about RM30,000 gross income. “With the increased income aside from my paddy field, I can support my family and grandchildren who live with me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Nor Yusof, 61, who is also a farmer under NCC, said he could fetch up to RM12,000 nett profit a season with his 0.4ha land of 3,000 chilli plants. According to PPKBA, the cost of one chilli plant ranges from RM2.50 to RM3.00 perkilogram. Through the chilli-farming scheme, the farmers’ income has increased by approximately 70%. To pay tribute to the dedicated chilli farmers in Kelantan, the packaging of the locally produced sauce bears their faces and short stories. In addition, research and development efforts for sustainable and holistic farming practices are carried out at Kebun Dapur Maggi in Kampong Gong Kulim. Aside from finding new methods to improve the chilli crop, the farm also focuses on developing new varieties and soil improvement methods. Meanwhile, a total of 63 students from the agricultural club of SMK Dato’ Ismail were given 1,000 polybags of chilli plants in July, a collaborative project between Nestle, PPKBA and the school to educate the students on chilli planting.

Through NCC, Nestle is also collaborating with Lembaga Zakat and PPKBA to help needy residents at the 15ha agro-economy integrated Desa Alam Shah by giving training on chilli planting while purchasing the produce for Maggi Chilli Sauce. So far, 29 residents have received 0.4ha land for chilli planting, generating an average income of RM1,200 monthly. Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd group corporate affairs director Eliza Mohamed said initiatives such as NCC's ensured the sources of raw materials were fully traceable, which is in line with the company’s principles of responsible sourcing. “In a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about the traceability of products, our ‘Farm-to-Fork’ concept benefits both society and our business. “Underpinning this practice is our business philosophy of Creating Shared Value (CSV), creating a joint benefit for both our shareholders and society at every stage of our value chain, which is at the heart of how Nestle runs its business. “We believe responsible sourcing makes good business sense, and is a significant investment for both Nestlé’s future and our suppliers’. “Ultimately, it is about ‘doing well, by doing good’, and this long-term focus spells out our business philosophy". This testimony shows the contract farming in chili growing acivities are practical and succesful. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Kota Bharu,
Kelantan, Malaysia.
(22 April 2017)

CHILI CONTRACT FARMING - A STORY


HAVE you ever wondered about the story behind your favourite bottle of Maggi Chilli Sauce before savouring it with your meal?. It starts out with the planting of seeds, and then cared for with sufficient amount of water and sunlight for the plants to grow healthily, all within a month. The plants then move into their vegetative phase for the next two months before bearing chillies. The chillies are then harvested throughout its remaining lifespan of three months and delivered to the sorting facility before being sent out to the manufacturing plant to be processed into your favourite condiment. The bottle of delicious chilli sauce would not be possible if not for the dedication and hard work of the people behind Kulai Chillies at the rural farmers in Kelantan. A group of city dwellers were recently brought to the suburban areas of Kelantan to learn about the various roles and efforts involved in producing a bottle of Maggi Chilli Sauce. Mind you, the chilli sauce may look deceptively simple, but planting the chillies is hard work. This article I share in "Anim Agriculture Technology" regarding a report published by local newapaper on the supply of fresh chilies as a testimony for chilies industries in Malaysia.

According to Nestle agricultural services manager Yong Lee Keng, chilli is one of the hardest crops to grow, regardless rain or shine. “In a bid to provide these farmers an increased source of income by helping them grow quality raw materials, Nestle Chilli Club (NCC) was formed in 1995 to work together with them. “The NCC contract farming scheme is a collaboration between Nestle and Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Bukit Awang (PPKBA),” said Yong during a media visit to the PPKBA office in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan. Through NCC, farmers are given training on best agricultural practices to improve and grow quality chillies that meet stringent standards as well as exposure to sustainability and environmental concerns. In return, Nestle gets a reliable source of quality fresh chillies while offering a secure market to the farmers with a fair market price. Up to 90% of the chillies produced under this scheme are purchased by Nestle, estimated to meet 60% of Nestle’s fresh chilli requirements for its products. “The season for chilli planting and harvesting is from March to October as we don’t want to fight nature during the monsoon season,” said Yong, adding that the target quota for each season is 200 tonnes of chillies.

PPKBA general manager Wan Anuar Wan Ismail explained that the farmers harvest twice a week and the produce is transported to the collection centre at PPKBA office where quality chillies are sorted and their stalks removed before being transferred to a cold room. “We have five cold rooms with temperatures set between 3°C and 6°C to ensure the freshness of the chillies is preserved before transporting them to the manufacturing plant in Petaling Jaya,” said Wan Anuar, adding that it is best to harvest chillies when they are half green and half red as they will be fully ripen upon processing. The process of removing stalks provides job opportunities to villagers who are paid 20sen to 30sen per kg of good quality chilli. To-date, there are 80 farmers under NCC who produce a regular yield of fresh chillies across 32ha of land for the production of Maggi Chilli Sauce. After the visit to PPKBA's office, we met up with some of the farmers at Gong Kemuning, one of the areas where the chilli farms were located. Abdullah Said, 68, has been a farmer under NCC since 2006. He started with 1,000 chilli plants and now has a 0.6ha land of 4,000 chilli plants. “I harvest 8,000kg to 9,000kg worth of chillies a season which fetch about RM30,000 gross income. “With the increased income aside from my paddy field, I can support my family and grandchildren who live with me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Nor Yusof, 61, who is also a farmer under NCC, said he could fetch up to RM12,000 nett profit a season with his 0.4ha land of 3,000 chilli plants. According to PPKBA, the cost of one chilli plant ranges from RM2.50 to RM3.00 perkilogram. Through the chilli-farming scheme, the farmers’ income has increased by approximately 70%. To pay tribute to the dedicated chilli farmers in Kelantan, the packaging of the locally produced sauce bears their faces and short stories. In addition, research and development efforts for sustainable and holistic farming practices are carried out at Kebun Dapur Maggi in Kampong Gong Kulim. Aside from finding new methods to improve the chilli crop, the farm also focuses on developing new varieties and soil improvement methods. Meanwhile, a total of 63 students from the agricultural club of SMK Dato’ Ismail were given 1,000 polybags of chilli plants in July, a collaborative project between Nestle, PPKBA and the school to educate the students on chilli planting.

Through NCC, Nestle is also collaborating with Lembaga Zakat and PPKBA to help needy residents at the 15ha agro-economy integrated Desa Alam Shah by giving training on chilli planting while purchasing the produce for Maggi Chilli Sauce. So far, 29 residents have received 0.4ha land for chilli planting, generating an average income of RM1,200 monthly. Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd group corporate affairs director Eliza Mohamed said initiatives such as NCC's ensured the sources of raw materials were fully traceable, which is in line with the company’s principles of responsible sourcing. “In a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about the traceability of products, our ‘Farm-to-Fork’ concept benefits both society and our business. “Underpinning this practice is our business philosophy of Creating Shared Value (CSV), creating a joint benefit for both our shareholders and society at every stage of our value chain, which is at the heart of how Nestle runs its business. “We believe responsible sourcing makes good business sense, and is a significant investment for both Nestlé’s future and our suppliers’. “Ultimately, it is about ‘doing well, by doing good’, and this long-term focus spells out our business philosophy". This testimony shows the contract farming in chili growing acivities are practical and succesful. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Kota Bharu,
Kelantan, Malaysia.
(22 April 2017)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

URBAN AGRICULTURE - MALAYSIAN POLICIES

URBAN AGRICULTURE (or in Malays known as Pertanian Bandar) can be defined shortly as the growing of plants and the raising of animals within and around cities. The most striking feature of urban agriculture, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system whereby urban agriculture is embedded in -and interacting with- the urban ecosystem. Such linkages include the use of urban residents as the source of labourers, use of typical urban resources (like organic waste as compost and urban wastewater for irrigation), direct links with urban consumers, direct impacts on urban ecology (positive and negative), being part of the urban food system, competing for land with other urban functions, being influenced by urban policies and plans, etc. Urban agriculture is not a relict of the past that will fade away (urban agriculture increases when the city grows) nor brought to the city by rural immigrants that will lose their rural habits over time. It is an integral part of the urban system. I write about 'Pertanian bandar' in my other blogs "Anim Agro Technology" that able to linked at animhosnan.blogspot.com. This article I would like to share some related policies and guidance in urban agriculture in Malaysia.

Policies on urban farming in Malaysia are seriously discussed in early 11th Malaysian Plan. There are a few policies in place which are used to promote and support urban farming in Malaysia indirectly. The main policy measure is stated in the National Agro-food Policy (NAP) 2011-2020 which steered the development of the Malaysian agriculture sector. The policy was formulated to address challenges in domestic and global markets to ensure sustainable production for food security and safety. The policy has been put in place to tackle the issue of sustainable agriculture, land scarcity, climate change, human and environmental degradation, and the competitiveness of the agro-food industry with food safety and nutrition aspects along its value chain. It also aims to reform and transform the agro-food industry to become a more modern and dynamic sector. The modernization of the agriculture sector was important, which enables the agriculture activities to be operated in more productive ways, whether in rural or urban areas. The policy emphasized on the use of more modern and dynamic technologies, which is flexible and suitable for limited space such as urban and peri-urban environment. The variety of technologies such as vertical farming, hydroponics, and urban farming kits have been developed by government agencies. Under the Urbanization Program, the National Green Technology Policy (2009) and Green Earth Program (2005) were seen as being relevant to alleviate urban agriculture with particular emphasis on environmental, economic, and social concerns. The three pillars are aimed at improving the quality of life and economic development through the use of technologies and minimize the impact on the environment. The Green Earth Program is intended to encourage farming practices to help reduce expenses per household. The involvement of urban folks in urban farming is expected to reduce their cost of living and improve their economy and well-being. The Putra Jaya Government Administration Center has started the urban farming program by introducing ‘Edible Gardens’ and ‘Community Gardens’. This is to create the awareness and responsibility among communities especially those focused on Putrajaya residents to share the nation’s aspirations.

There is an urgent need for urban farming in Malaysia due to the food crisis and socio-economic needs. Although urban farming agenda in Malaysia is still in the early stages, a strategic effort from government as the key players and various parties, especially promoter, urban farmers and community is able to make its progress. Urban farming can be fully materialized if there is a holistic infrastructure, technologies, and communities, which are important. The government efforts to encourage urban community to participate in the greening program is well accepted. Special attention needs to be given to urban farming and for all that, it should be an outstanding part in the government policy towards sustainable development in line with current needs. Additionally, perhaps as a strategy to realize the policy leveraging agricultural investments is through education and training. They should be implemented to empower knowledge, awareness and attitude of young generations towards urban farming. It is the most important element to improve the cities and provide better services according to the needs of the population. Urban farming is seen as an innovative approach to improve access to healthy food, and simultaneously, boost the economy and society. There is also a need to conduct relevant studies that can help develop policies to encourage more Malaysians to be involved in urban farming. Thanks for sharing this information.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
agriculture Station,
Serdang, Selangor,
Malaysia.
(6 Rejab 1438H)
3 April 2017.
PUBLISHED ON 9/9/2017