Graduation Day for Ten Farmers

REF NO : BEST/SBH/KDT/2014/08/23h

On 9th September 2014, a team made up of Mr. Albert Teo (BEST Society Chairman), Ms Ching Mei Lan (project coordinator from BEST Society) and three Borneo Eco Tours staff / volunteers embarked on a three hours journey from Kota Kinabalu to Sikuati, a village close to Kudat, northern part of Sabah for the closing ceremony of the BEST’s Organic Farming Phase I project.

After months of attending workshops, seminars conducted by organic farming experts, field trips to Canaan farms, as well as hard work from all the participants, the ten participants chosen from Kampung Rampai Besar were presented with a certificate to acknowledge their dedication to the project. Mr Jerri Mulihin, the master of ceremony invited Mr. Albert Teo and Mr Mesigin @ Henry Mesigin Bin Ongunjil, the head of the village to deliver speeches. Two participants from the organic farm project were invited to share their experience. They expressed their gratitude to BEST Society and Shell for funding and introducing organic farming to their village.

Those who joined in the celebration were entertained with a traditional Rungus dance performed by the local youths from Kampung Rampai Besar. Although this marked the end of Phase I, it is only the beginning for the participants who will now apply their new found knowledge to train others in the village as well as continue to find better ways to improve the condition of their farms.

After a dialogue with the farmers, BEST Society has identified several consistent problems including unreliable water source and weather, insects, poor soil and poor demand for organic vegetables, that the farmers are facing with their crops and have discussed some possible solutions with them. BEST Society hopes to be able to continue supporting the participants to find new solutions and technologies for their problems as well as train more interested farmers in the upcoming Phase II. One possible option is to locate a piece of land in the village so that all the financial and human resources can be concentrated in the area to achieve greater impact.

The Organic Farming Phase I Project was funded by the Shell Malaysia Sustainable Development Grant (RM40,000) aimed at developing sustainable organic farming while promoting healthy diet and to generate higher income for the local Rungus communities in Kudat.

The Shell Malaysia Sustainable Development Grants 2015 cycle is open for applications again. All application guidelines and the deadline for proposals can be found at : http://www.shell.com.my/environment-society/shell-in-the-society/malaysia/sd-grants.html

The Shell Malaysia Sustainable Development (SD) Grants scheme is open to Malaysian NGOs, and International NGOs with a Malaysian chapter, Community Based Organisations (CBO) and Academic Institutions based in Malaysia.

Mr Jerri Mulihin (standing left), master of ceremony for this graduation day

Mr Jerri Mulihin (standing left), master of ceremony for this graduation day

The participants are discussing among themselves on the new idea of fertigation

The participants are discussing among themselves on the new idea of fertigation

BEST Society chairman (left)and project coordinator (right)are having discussion with the village head of Kg Rampai Besar on the future plan

BEST Society chairman (left)and project coordinator (right)are having discussion with the village head of Kg Rampai Besar on the future plan

Mr Disin Marajun shares his experience and challenges in organic farming with the other villagers

Mr Disin Marajun shares his experience and challenges in organic farming with the other villagers

Madam Kartinah receiving certificate from the chairman of BEST Society

Madam Kartinah receiving certificate from the chairman of BEST Society

Mr Rambus, one of the successful entrepreneurs with his wife (right)

Mr Rambus, one of the successful entrepreneurs with his wife (right)

Tradisional Rungus dance performed by the local youth

Tradisional Rungus dance performed by the local youth

Future participants for organic farm phase 2

Future participants for organic farm phase 2

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