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Malaysia: hydroponic farmer turns to agrotourism to share agriculture with younger generation

Residents in Perlis need not travel far to some highland resort to enjoy the refreshing sights of flowers and vegetable farms with the set up of a hydroponic farm in Kampung Tengah Abi, where visitors are allowed to choose and pick the vegetables. Since news of the farm went viral on social media, visitors had been streaming in non-stop and within days the crops on offer were sold out during the recent Chinese New Year holidays.

Mohd Ashraf Shuib, 40, who had developed the 0.2-hectare Abi Agro farm site since 2017 said the overwhelming response received from visitors has encouraged him to improve the business. “Some visitors have referred to the farm as a mini Cameron Highlands. With the support and encouragement we plan to do better by growing more varieties of flowers and vegetables to meet and satisfy our customers’ needs, “ he told Bernama here.

Among the agricultural products available at the farm are Chinese cabbage, pak choy,  celery,  catfish,  vinca flowers and several types of hanging plants. Initially, Mohd Ashraf said he only grew vegetables for sale to suppliers but decided to venture into agrotourism later in 2020. “Since then, the crowd has been coming in and they are given the chance to choose, pick and weigh the vegetables themselves,” said the father of four.

Mohd Ashraf said apart from the income, he turned to agrotourism to attract the community, especially the younger generation and make them aware of the benefits of agriculture. “Seeing parents bring their children to Abi Agro farm makes me happy because here, they are are exposed to vegetable farming and taught the basics of agriculture,” said Mohd Ashraf, a Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Serdang graduate in human resource development.

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