Help for the people

Local authorities in Johor can help identify any unused land, clear it and get seeds or plants from the Agriculture Department for the vegetable farms, like this one in Shah Alam. — Filepic

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor government plans to introduce a large-scale urban farming policy as part of measures to help people cope with the rising cost of living.

Housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said the move would involve cooperation from local authorities to utilise unused land in their respective areas.

“Any unused land in the city will be used to plant vegetables, so that the people can save on daily expenses for food and focus on other needs.

“It does not require a huge allocation and can be implemented fast.”The local authorities can help identify any unused land, clear it and get seeds or plants from the Agriculture Department.

“Before long, the crops can be harvested, ” he said.

Ayub said he would take measures to carry out the plan and that the community farms once ready would be handed over to residents association committees or NGOs to be managed.

He said any unused parking space would also be used for a night market and farmers market, especially for those living in People’s Housing Project (PPR) areas.

“This plan is to help those in the lower income group.

“The local authorities can help by setting up the infrastructure such as lighting and see to licensing aspects, especially during Ramadan.

“We want to help the people, especially in view of the current economic situation, ” he said, adding that business licences would also be offered at a cheaper rate to attract youth entrepreneurs.

Ayub, who is also Rengit assemblyman, said the main important factor was to ensure business locations were kept clean at all times.

He also said that he planned to revive residential committees at PPRs and housing areas.

“We need an organised action committee that can be trusted with dealing and solving any issues involving the people, especially regarding cleanliness of the environment, ” he added.

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