It was a month of expansion! It all started in mid-July when we had a good problem: the farmers were producing a surplus of 30kg per harvest but the Kuantan market could not absorb the increase in production.
Jaya Grocer, who has adopted OA Oganics as their CSR project, stepped in; they offered to sell the vegetables at their Starling Mall outlet at Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya from 4 August 2018! They would transport the Monday and Friday harvest to their depoh and then display them on the shelves the following day on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
After almost a year, our farm produce are back in the Klang Valley! We are grateful to Jaya Grocer for giving the orang asli farmers the opportunity to enter the PJ market and be in the running with other organic brands.
What is also very exciting is the expansion of the farm project. But what is even more exciting about this is the expansion was solely an initiative of some other orang asli in the villagers, at their own expense!
One such example is Pak Kuyu (the Penghulu of Kg Ulu Gumum) and Karim who jointly developed a 0.5 acre land into a farm using their own money. With some guidance from the farmers, Pak Kuyu and Pak Karim have started planting sweet corns. They plan to sell their produce through OA Organics, a fair trade community enterprise.
Clearly, confidence is growing in our eco-farm model. We hope to encourage more replications and scaling-up amongst the villagers, and they see organic farming as the way forward for sustainable livelihood.
As for our farmers, they continue to exceed the RM800/month mark for their income. Bern produced and harvested RM2,000 worth of vegetables in July! Production is on the increase due to the effective use of machinery, and more orang asli in the village joining the farm to work.