We continue to clear hurdles at the farm.
The Orang Asli farmers have now learned how to grow 15 types of crops. Farm planting spaces have increased to 1.4 acres, and there is an operational greenhouse. Farm yields increased to RM9,000 in May from RM4,000 in February.
We are still trying to clear the hurdle with the farm irrigation. Flat tape pipes have been changed to PE pipes, and aerators have been fitted to oxidise heavy metal in the water to prevent clogging of the drippers. But, the drippers still get clogged up, and the water pump system to the tanks is getting less efficient.
This creates continuous stress to the farmers who find it difficult to get enough water for the farm. They feel demoralised when they see what they plant die for lack of water.
But we take comfort in seeing the farmers troubleshooting to work out a temporary solution with irrigation by inverting the drippers such that the water could drip to the plants. We also feel encouraged by the presence of the four young trainees who joined us in May. We hope their decision to train with OA Organics may reflect that the Orang Asli see some hope in farming as a viable livelihood strategy.