BY BARINA NANI & NUR HAZIRAH SHUKUR
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Adhering to a Malay saying berbudi kepada tanah, tanah tak kan tipu (hard work will surely bear fruit), Adenan Bukra, who started planting only three fig seedlings, now has 300 fig trees at his Kuap Figs & Grapevine Garden farm.
According to the 56-year-old, thanks to hard work and high determination, his farm has now become the first figs producer in Sarawak.
“It usually takes six months for the fruit to germinate, and within 100 days after budding, the ripe fruit can be harvested.
“I obtain my fig seedlings from suppliers from Malaya and Sabah.
“At Kuap Figs & Grapevine Garden, we grow four types of figs but we only market large sized figs that are sold at RM60 per kilo.
“Apart from being available at seven Everrise supermarkets around Kuching, customers can also visit our farm to pick their own figs,” he said, adding that he also grows black, green and red grapes, strawberries as well as herbs.
Speaking of the challenges he faced, this determined entrepreneur said the lack of skilled manpower and guidelines in figs cultivation had caused him to learn on his own through reading or observation by visiting other fig plantations in Malaya.
He said any problems during the planting process would be recorded and solutions would later be sought.
Adenan added as the sole supplier of fig seedlings in the state, he always provides guidance to his customers on how to grow the fruit properly.
“The market for figs is very wide. However, due to its lack of cultivation as a commercial crop, figs are still sold at high prices in our state.
“Although a fig seedling can reach a price of more than RM100, it can last a long time and will always produce results if taken care of properly.
“In fact, the stems can also be sown for replanting and it can last as long as the roots are not damaged,” he said, adding that one of the factors for this fruit to grow well is that it must have adequate source of light.
The Kuap Figs & Grapevine Garden owner said as figs have great potential to be developed in Sarawak, they plan to create Jemukan Agro Terminal in Kampung Jemukan, Sadong Jaya, which will be developed on eight acres of land with 28 greenhouses.
“For a start, we are targeting the involvement of participants from the Kota Samarahan area.
“So far, I have presented the proposal to the Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA), chaired by Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.
“Cooperation from IRSDA is very much needed as the agency can further develop figs industry in Sarawak.
“With this cooperation, we will also be able to produce more entrepreneurs in this sector, especially among the youth,” he said, adding upon completion, Jemukan Agro Terminal will also become a tourist destination in the state.
In the meantime, Adenan pointed out that the project (Jemukan Agro Terminal) is also able to open employment opportunities for students of the Sarawak Agricultural Institute.
“After they graduate, we can take them to work with us and at the same time, encourage them to become modern farmers,” he explained.