There are 12 types of vegetables growing at any one time in the farm now. Also, the farm is picking up in its yield: 80kg of vegetables were harvested every two days in May and this is a jump from 40kg in February. This is commendable growth, but yield is still off the target for the farm to be sustainable. But, we are thankful we do see a sliver of light in this challenging period.
The Orang Asli farmers’ lack of pro-activeness does hold the farm back from achieving sustainability. One point in case is the recent harvesting of sweet corns, our best seller. The sweet corns were due for harvest last week, but the farmers were waiting for instruction to harvest. They only realised they missed the harvesting two days later; this delay rendered the sweet corns too old to be sold.
The good that came out of this painful lesson is Nor stepped out to say she would now take charge of future harvesting instructions! This is one step forward for the farm and the farmers towards greater pro-activeness, leadership and improved productivity.
The continuous yet to be conquered problematic irrigation system is also hindering farm sustainability. Despite spending RM6,000 to replace the eco-tape pipes with poly pipe tubes and drippers, water remained blocked in the irrigation pipes. This is a dampener to the farmers as they have to spend much time de-clogging the drippers.
The good that came out of this persistent problem is having Zariu proposing an out-of -the-taught narrative solution! He suggested removing the drippers and allowing the tubes to drip directly to the plants. Yes, this is another sliver of light in challenging time – the farmers themselves are developing innovative and problem-solving skills.
If you know of anyone who is able to help the farmers step up on their vegetable sales and/or to solve their irrigation problem, please contact us!