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May 19, 2010

Proud Farmer II

Around the Klang Valley are literally hundreds of small farms producing vegetables and fruits for the insatiable appetite of city residents.

These farms are mainly unsupervised and are farmed mostly by immigrants, legal or otherwise.  Buyers will come and load up and take them to the wholesale markets.  At the wholesale markets, retailers will come to cart off their selections to sell them at pasar malam(s), stalls and other retail outlets.

Smaller buyers will come to the farms too, to buy and sell them to nearby restaurants where you have your weekend holiday meals (for the 'freshness' of the meats and vegetables).

We decided to visit one such farm situated right next to a stream feeding a river further down.  The farmer is very proud of his produce which looks appetizing, fresh, healthy with no insect or fungal damage.  It is sold at nearby restaurants and also taken to the main wholesale market in the Klang Valley.

The farm is situated in a picturesque location where senior government and corporate officials often come to take their break or to attend seminars and training courses.

lovely longbeans Web.JPG
The vegetables like these long bean and angled bean are 'full', obviously crunchy and juicy, bright in color and with no insect damage.
lovely angled beans Web.JPG
Lunch at these seminars and training sessions will often feature these vegetables as ulam (salad).
Dengan bangganya my veg have no insect damage Web.JPG
Dengan Bangganya....
Here's the farmer proudly explaining how he keeps insects at bay.
baja 1 Web.JPG
baja 2 Web.JPG
pesticide 1 Web.JPG
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These are the fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that he uses.

He explains that he sprays the vegetables with insecticides every 3 days right up to harvest.

He gave us some samples to take back.

The vegetables reek.


The farmer is illiterate.

One of the chemicals he uses is a paraquat.  Just two teaspoons of paraquat will kill a man.  Read here on paraquat.

The insecticide he uses every 3 days until harvest is an organophosphate (OP). Read here on OP and here.  OP has been implicated in some Parkinson's or Parkinson's like diseases. 

Paraquat and OP are controlled items and require permits to purchase.  Unlicensed farms are obtaining these chemicals through illegal means.

17:20 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: pesticide, herbicide, weedicide


A very tricky issue to handle when you consider the lack of incentives - in terms of financial support and transfer of knowledge - that vegetable growers and farmers have, to switch to organic farming. Lots of ignorance and lots of pressure from the agrochemicals industry. Would be good for this farmer to visit some of the guys in Cameron Highlands who made the switch and have never regretted it

Posted by: Mary Maguire | May 24, 2010

We have started the education process by telling them the effects of the chemicals and getting them to wear gloves, masks, etc. Also when to stop spraying etc.

Posted by: HS | May 25, 2010

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