May 19, 2010
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.
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.
Paraquat and OP are controlled items and require permits to purchase. Unlicensed farms are obtaining these chemicals through illegal means.