KUCHING: To reduce the cost of living, especially among the urban and suburban population affected by Covid-19, the federal government set aside RM10 million for the Urban Farming Project under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) last year.
Most of those involved in this project are working on small-scale hydroponic vegetable planting for their own consumption as well as to supplement their income.
Hydroponics is a form of gardening that uses no soil, but instead grows plants in a solution of water and nutrients. A hydroponic system can grow plants and vegetables faster than growing them outdoors in soil.
A hydroponic system can also be an ideal solution for apartment residents and urbanites who do not have an outdoor gardening plot.
According to Parti Pesaka Bersatu Bumiputera (PBB) Kampung Sungai Maong chief Abdul Latif Salleh, plants grown hydroponically often yielded more crops, require less space, and use less water.
“Apart from helping to increase villagers’ food supply, this project also helps to increase their income.
“Since the Urban Farming Project was introduced in Kampung Sungai Maong in December last year, many residents have expressed interest in it.
“In fact, most of the participants have already enjoyed their first harvest.
“The produce obtained exceeds the needs of each household and the surplus is sold to the public to generate side income.
“I would like to thank both the state and federal governments for always prioritising the welfare of the people,” he said recently, adding that hydroponics had the potential to drive the state’s agricultural sector to a higher level in the future.
He also stated that his party intended to market their hydroponic products internationally.
The Urban Farming Project is open to all citizens aged 18 and above, and limited to one application only.
For the community category, the project should be carried out around the residential area with a minimum of 10 participants, while for the individual category, projects are carried out in their respective homes.
Among the assistance provided are one-off incentives in the form of seeds, fertiliser, infrastructure, equipment, expert advice, and training, worth up to RM500 per individual and RM50,000 per community.
The main goal of the project is to encourage people to plant their own food to meet their daily needs and to reduce their cost of living.