RANAU: The Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Junz Wong said his Ministry was committed to train and empower farmers to learn how to plants organic vegetables and rear fishes at the same time, while protecting our environment against pesticide and other harmful chemicals.
To this effect we have included this important initiative into the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Sabah (MAFI) blueprint, he added.
Datuk Junz told reporters after visiting Kundasang Aquafarm at Mesilau, Ranau to observe and check on the success formula of hydroponic / aquaponic farming himself.
The farm owned by a young farmer Azizul Julirim made at least RM10,000 – RM12,000 every month, just by selling lettuce (red coral, green coral & butterhead lettuce), cherry tomatoes, and sawi pak choy, Junz informed.
“I have proposed to Azizul to participate in our Azam programme and train farmers from Kundasang to turn their vegetables into aquaponic farming like his.”
“I’ll engage him to train farmers especially the young ones while we will provide all equipments (in kind) as follow through measures to ensure all trained farmers to embark into Aquaponic systems and become entrepreneurs by planting and selling vegetables.” Junz explained.
Junz said, MAFI would also link their products directly to markets such as Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Brunei.
The market was huge and lucrative. As an example some vegetable (which took 3-4 weeks to grow) could fetched a farm price of as high as RM4.00 per kg and whole sale price of RM10.00 per kg, he shared.
Junz stressed, we need a lot of farmers especially young ones to participate in this program thus changing the image of Kundasang from chemical cabbage and vegetables into healthy, organic, non chemical vegetables.
“I am looking forward to bringing this Aquaponic farming to more farmers all over Sabah through various MAFI schemes.” Junz ended.