ORGANIC FARMING IN MALAYSIA
Tuesday, November 27
Organic farm co-owner Lee Ong Sing started out less than proficient in English and lacking in IT knowledge. Now, the plucky farmer hasn’t had a dull moment using the PC, and the farm has its own website.

This snail that devours dead cells on leafy vegetables is an indicator that harmful pest control chemicals are not used.
MANY farmers in Cameron Highlands depend heavily on chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

Cameron Organic Produce, a farm in Brinchang, has set a good example by being environmentally-friendly while catering to the needs of consumers in the Klang Valley who demand pesticide- and chemical fertiliser-free produce.

After 10 years, the farm, which is owned by Lee Ong Sing and seven fellow farmers, is enjoying the fruits of farmers’ labour.
Lee, 37, a second-generation farmer, learned to grow a selected variety of vegetables without relying on fungicide, pesticide and chemical fertilisers.

Initially, Lee thought the risk was far too great. But passion and the will to see things work kept him and his partners going.

He has taken it one step further by educating the public on the benefits of organic produce through the Internet.

He gleefully admitted that he is a gadget freak and has taken ad-hoc lessons in operating a personal computer from a close friend who is in the information technology field.

“I knew nothing about computers. I picked up a trick or two and found out that the laptop had programmes such as word processing and spreadsheet functions to help me manage my farm,* said Lee.

Lee also confessed that he is not proficient in English and took a long time to train himself.

“The spreadsheet helped in production and cost management of crops. I learned to issue orders and send invoices to customers. I still need to master Power Point as it helps me at talks and while I am doing my sales in the Klang Valley.*

To overcome the language barrier, Lee relied on his trusty Chinese-English dictionary. Learning new terms and phrases, he said, has opened more doors in his business.

“I love to try electronic devices that help in increasing productivity. I haven’t had a dull moment with the personal computer.*

As fate would have it, Lee met a university lecturer who visited Brinchang more than a year ago. Fascinated with organic natural farming, the academician accepted an informal invite from Lee to visit his small farm.

“The lecturer, who wanted to be known only as Dr Chan, became interested in my work and agree to set up a website to educate the public about our work in Brinchang.*

After tweaking information relayed through emails, the Penang-based educationist finally set up Lee’s company website. Lee said it is exciting to share the experience of natural farming with others.

“Many people want to know what organic farming is all about and I think the Internet is a good resource for such information.*

For Lee and his partners, going on-line since late September has brought in more business.

Lee’s farm is also one of only two in Malaysia to be certified by Krav of Sweden for complying with Good Agricultural Practice.

The company is also affiliated with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture MovementsFor more details, visit Cameron Organic | Cameron Organic.