PASIR PUTEH, Nov 14 – A fertigation project started behind their house and in the garden in 2014 has become profitable for married couple, Mokhtar Zakaria, 58, and Suhaida Abdullah, 43.
Through an initial investment of RM30,000 they have been able to earn up to RM50,000 per year growing red chillies.
Mokhtar said his system uses organic fertiliser and eco-friendly pesticides.
He said that he and his wife do a lot of crop research, particularly on fertilisers and pest control methods.
“I have 1,300 plants and there are two chilli seasons per year,” he said, while adding that he has been able to harvest between three and six tonnes per season depending on the weather and other factors.
However, “I suffered a huge loss during the monsoon season in 2016 because I wasn’t able to spray the plants with pesticide for a week. But it didn’t break my spirit and I carried on.”
His persistence paid off and in 2018 he received the national-level ‘Inovasi Baja Organik Biomerah’ award from the Department of National Unity and Integration.
Mokhtar, who worked as a builder, guard and contractor in Kuala Lumpur before deciding to return to Kampung Jeram in Kelantan, said he is presently trialling growing turmeric and ginger.
Suhaida helps him with the farming and harvesting in her free time as well as “packing the chillies into plastic bags for collection by the wholesaler”.