KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 -- The RM10 million allocation under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) is expected to benefit 800 communities and 12,000 individuals who are newcomers to urban farming, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said.
He said the B40 group particularly those living in the People’s Housing Projects (PPR) are encouraged to form community garden groups where they could get together to grow fast growing vegetables.
“I hope the success of the Seri Perlis 2 Public Housing community in Kampung Datuk Keramat here will motivate other communities to venture into small-scale vegetable farming, not only for their own consumption but for sale as well.
“The ministry will cooperate with the local authorities and relevant parties to get more people to take part in urban farming,” he told reporters after a walkabout programme at the Seri Perlis 2 Public Housing project here today.
At the event, Kiandee also handed over RM50,000 assistance under PENJANA and contribution of stingless bee hives to the community from the Agriculture Department.
Through PENJANA, the government is offering in-kind contribution packages in the form of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, equipment, advisory service and training worth up to RM500 per individual and RM50,000 for every community.
Since 2014, some 125,000 people including those from schools, institutions, individuals and communities in 5,065 locations nationwide, have participated in urban farming programmes.
A Brazillian spinach and pennywort or pegaga farmer, Hamidah Ibrahim, 69, said initially she had to use her own money to start her farming activities and encountered losses when her crops were attacked by diseases.
“But with guidance from the Agriculture Department, the crop yield has improved thus benefiting the community here. My grocery bills too have reduced and I can now grow the vegetables on a commercial basis,” she added.
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