THE HASANAH REPORT 2022
A sustained effort to support farmers in 4 Tambunan communities through improved planting methods and marketing strategies
Driven by the principle of “mitatabang” (which means communal work or gotong-royong in Kadazandusun language), 4 villages in Tuaran are revisiting paddy-farming.
Forever Sabah’s Chief Executive Facilitator Cynthia Ong says long before the arrival of supermarkets and various challenges rendering paddy-farming unprofitable, it was the staple economic activity for generations.
Beginning with 40 farmers from 2 villagers, a year on there are 120 farmers in Kampung Tinuhan, Kampung Lapasan Ulu, Kampung Wangkod and Kampung Timbou.
The project aims to build demand for the Wagas Dati brand of artisanal rice produced here. Besides more sustainable farming practices, farmers are also guided on packaging, inventory, pricing, and marketing of 34 varieties of heirloom rice.
Community leader of Kampung Timbou, Gondipar Sorioh and Bilu Pantai Kampung Tinuhan both share the benefits of gaining awareness on the dangers of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, hence opting for organic ones instead.
Gondipar also finds the introduction to rearing of fish in the fields to be beneficial and plans to continue doing so. Meanwhile, Bilu hopes that the younger generation will not only change their minds about the economic viability of paddy-farming but also take interest in agri-tourism, which Forever Sabah is running workshops on as well.
According to Ivy Wong Abdullah, Head of Environment, this project not only supports livelihood and soil revitalisation but also “the ability of local communities to create a sustainable source for food, and contributing to the government’s larger agenda on food security,”
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