Training for B40 community in pineapple, poultry farming

Samsolbari (third from left) during his visit to Aqina pineapple plantations in Kukup, Pontian.

One thousand farmers from the B40 group will be selected to be part of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that provides training in pineapple and poultry farming.

State agriculture, agro-based and rural development committee chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali said the programme was a collaborative effort between Aqina Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Johor Relief Association that would run for two years.

“The state government always welcomes joint efforts between big and small agricultural players, especially in the context of contract farming.

“This will help both parties in terms of ensuring high-quality productivity and supply and this will subsequently give way to healthy business in the industry, ” he said in Johor Baru.

He added that the collaboration between the two groups would also lay the foundation to better management of demand and distribution of goods.

“One of our main objectives is to support farmers who are willing to change their lives and support the state government plans of establishing a food security initiative.

“This will also benefit the B40 group, especially those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, ” said Samsolbari.

He said the state government would play its role in ensuring each farmer would have the opportunity to work for Aqina.

He elaborated that the company had also agreed to donate a percentage of its revenue to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the CSR programme to help the local B40 community.

“The NGOs will play their role in terms of supplying the workforce to Aqina, aside from distributing 10,000 chickens produced by the company to the needy, ” he said.

“The pineapples take about 18 months to grow before they can be harvested, but the contract farmer will still receive a monthly income from the company during this period.

“The company will also provide farmers with accommodation and standard farm facilities.

“And after three cycles of success in pineapple farming, the farmers will be able to get a bank loan to upgrade their business, ” he added.

Samsolbari said that aside from Ihsan Johor Relief Association, the company would be working with other NGOs, such as Suria Welfare Foundation Johor Baru and Sooriya Udhayam Malaysia.

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