Ben­e­fits of sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME - By Fung Lan Yong

Agri­cul­ture is the largest em­ployer in the world in­volv­ing 40 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion. Un­doubt­edly, it serves as the back­bone and driv­ing force be­hind the so­cioe­co­nomic suc­cess of Malaysia. It not only pro­duces agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion, but also acts as a for­eign ex­change earner since Malaysia is a ma­jor ex­porter of rub­ber, co­coa and palm oil. Agri­cul­ture also con­tributes to the na­tional gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by pro­vid­ing gain­ful em­ploy­ment for many peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas. Agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment in Malaysia is a con­tin­u­ing process that faces fresh chal­lenges posed by glob­al­i­sa­tion and trade lib­er­al­i­sa­tion.

Sus­tain­able strate­gies should be adopted to en­sure that Malaysia con­tin­ues to pro­duce enough agri­cul­tural prod­ucts for lo­cal con­sump­tion as well as for ex­port. Sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture en­ables Malaysia to pro­duce plant and an­i­mal prod­ucts that utilise farm­ing tech­niques that en­hance the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, pub­lic health and com­mu­ni­ties. It al­lows the coun­try to pro­duce enough agri­cul­tural prod­ucts with­out com­pro­mis­ing the abil­ity of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to achieve the same goal. In gen­eral, it pro­motes so­cioe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity and helps Malaysians to im­prove their qual­ity of life.

Ben­e­fits of sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture

Ac­cord­ing to Alan Chong, who es­tab­lished Gro Yield Hold­ings Ber­had, sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture ap­plies green tech­nol­ogy that stresses the use of prod­ucts, equip­ment and sys­tems to con­serve the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment that in turn re­duces the neg­a­tive im­pact of hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It min­imises the degra­da­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment by en­sur­ing zero or low green­house emis­sions. It also helps con­serve the use of en­ergy and nat­u­ral re­sources be­sides high­light­ing the use of re­new­able re­sources. It aims to at­tain en­ergy in­de­pen­dence and pro­mote ef­fi­cient util­i­sa­tion while con­serv­ing and mit­i­gat­ing the im­pact of pol­lu­tion,” Chong be­gan.

Sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture greatly con­tributes to en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion.

“The en­vi­ron­ment plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in ful­fill­ing our fun­da­men­tal needs to sus­tain life, so we are re­spon­si­ble to con­serve it so that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are not de­prived of their needs. In­no­va­tive and sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture helps to re­plen­ish our nat­u­ral re­sources, en­sur­ing that these nat­u­ral re­sources can be used to sus­tain the needs of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” he elab­o­rated.

Be­sides en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion, sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture pro­motes pub­lic health safety and cost re­duc­tion.

“First, it avoids the use of haz­ardous pes­ti­cides and fer­tilis­ers that in turn pro­duces fruits, veg­eta­bles and other crops that are safer for con­sump­tion. It fo­cuses on the ad­e­quate man­age­ment of waste, thus pro­tect­ing hu­mans from pathogens, tox­ins and other lifethreat­en­ing pol­lu­tants. Se­cond, it re­duces the burn­ing of fos­sil fu­els, lead­ing to cost sav­ings in terms of their pur­chase and trans­port. This in turn de­creases the over­all costs in­volved in farm­ing,” Chong said.

Fur­ther, bio­di­ver­sity, an­i­mal health­care and so­cial equal­ity will greatly im­prove with sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture.

“First, it fos­ters the growth of a broad ar­ray of flora and fauna, lead­ing to soil en­rich­ment, dis­ease preven­tion and pest con­trol. Se­cond, an­i­mals will be bet­ter treated more hu­manely and al­lowed to de­velop in a nat­u­ral way. Third, it ben­e­fits work­ers as they can earn a more com­pet­i­tive in­come with fringe ben­e­fits. In short, peo­ple will be­come more ap­pre­cia­tive of bio­di­ver­sity and an­i­mal health­care, while work­ing in a safer en­vi­ron­ment with ad­e­quate food and shel­ter,” he ex­plained.

Sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture helps pro­mote the triple bot­tom line in agrar­ian coun­tries such as Malaysia.

“The first bot­tom line is that, by ap­ply­ing sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural tech­niques, largescale cul­ti­va­tors as well as small­hold­ers can earn a fair wage for their pro­duce. In Malaysia, it greatly re­duces peo­ple’s re­liance on gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies and em­pow­ers peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas. The se­cond bot­tom line is that sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture em­ploys green tech­nol­ogy that re­duces the ex­ploita­tion of non­re­new­able en­ergy re­sources. The third bot­tom line is that it en­ables peo­ple to be­come more so­cially re­spon­si­ble in terms of their en­vi­ron­ment and com­mu­nity,” Chong re­it­er­ated.

Gro Yield’s role in sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture

Gro Yield of­fers a nu­tri­tional prod­uct for plants, the re­sult of many years of sci­en­tific and prac­ti­cal re­search and de­vel­op­ment, fol­lowed by in­ten­sive ap­pli­ca­tions in test site rub­ber plan­ta­tions. The prod­uct in­creases la­tex yield and im­proves the over­all health of the trees. The la­tex not only re­tains its dry rub­ber con­tent (DRC), but also shows an in­crease in DRC per­cent­age,” he said.

Chong fur­ther ex­plained the vi­sion and mis­sion of Gro Yield.

“Our vi­sion is to pro­vide to­tal healthy farm­ing so­lu­tions for the gov­ern­ment, cor­po­rate sec­tor and small­hold­ers, while our mis­sion is to en­hance the stan­dard of liv­ing of small­hold­ers via the use of an en­vi­ron­ment­friendly prod­uct. We fo­cus on high farm­ing ef­fi­ciency meth­ods and pro­duc­tion ef­fec­tive­ness, while en­cour­ag­ing an in­no­va­tive cul­ture and devel­op­ing prod­ucts to serve the com­mu­nity.”

Gro Yield has achieved sev­eral mile­stones since its in­cep­tion. “An­a­lyt­i­cal tests were con­ducted and the prod­uct has been rec­om­mended by the Fed­eral Land Con­sol­i­da­tion and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Au­thor­ity, Malaysia. Fur­ther, the Fed­eral Land De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, Malaysia had tested our prod­uct on rub­ber trees, yield­ing pos­i­tive re­sults. The prod­uct is now used by a qual­i­fied ven­dor for FELDA Global Ven­tures Hold­ings Ber­had, be­sides be­ing ex­ported to China, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, Philip­pines, Thai­land and Myan­mar,” Chong en­thused.

“Gro Yield of­fers a rev­o­lu­tion­ary prod­uct be­cause it has a spe­cial for­mula based on many years of re­search and de­vel­op­ment. It is sup­ported by count­less hours of test­ing in the lab­o­ra­tory as well as in ac­tual rub­ber plan­ta­tions. Fur­ther, Gro Yield pro­vides to­tal plan­ta­tion so­lu­tions for rub­ber trees and has shown as­tound­ing re­sults in en­hanc­ing the health of the trees, in­ter­nally to ex­ter­nally.

About the Au­thor: Fung Lan Yong holds a PhD in Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion (Gifted and Tal­ented Ed­u­ca­tion) from South­ern Illi­nois Univer­sity at Car­bon­dale. She teaches Aca­demic English and Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion sub­jects at Jes­sel­ton Col­lege Sabah.

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