Borneo hobby grower starts professional business

What started as a hobby to provide fresh organic vegetables for their family and friends has grown into a full-blown business for a group of friends in Penampang. After some trial and error, Swasana Hijau Sdn Bhd was set up in Kampung Rugading Babagon in 2019 and is now a full-time career for William Bishop and partners Mike Ford, Jonathan Chin, and Mark Chin.

William, who is Swasana Hijau’s general manager, said their method of planting is hydroponics which is a sustainable farming technology. “It started as a hobby in our spare time to produce fresh vegetables for our families and friends. Once we got the system up and running, we all really enjoyed the work, so we continued researching and producing different types of vegetables until, finally, we had a conversation about trying this commercially.

“We decided to give it a go and have been off and running ever since. It’s been a lot of hard work and learning, but we still enjoy the work and the satisfaction of creating healthy, environmentally sustainable vegetables for people to enjoy,” he said.

Sustainable farming through hydroponics means Swasana Hijau is able to produce high-quality vegetables without needing to use herbicides or pesticides, which can be bad for the environment by running off into our rivers and streams and polluting those areas. “This is one of many reasons we choose hydroponics as we see this as the future of farming not only in Malaysia but all over the world,” William stressed.

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