Malaysian deputy agriculture minister Sim Tze Tzin has taken up urban farming in his constituency of Bayan Baru.
The small garden outside the double-storey unit that serves as Sim’s service centre now boasts eggplants, cucumbers and other herbs.
Sim said the country is facing a fundamental problem of food prices being driven up by insufficient supply. Most of the 8 million hectares allocated for agriculture in the country are being used up by commodities such as palm oil and rubber. The deputy minister believes that Malaysians need to change their way of thinking, with so much emphasis already being placed on commodities.
Sim stressed that the land given out in the 1970s for the production of commodities as a poverty eradication measure was the right move, as prices were high.
“We have to slowly convert some land for agro-food like the existing Felda schemes, it is time now to diversify to include growing food, like padi, vegetables and fruits,” he added.