Serving dual purpose as green lung and personal ‘farmers market’

Unused land can be turned into productive green lung like this vegetable patch at the Taman Midah flood retention pond. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) wants to help city folk turn underutilised land near their homes into community farms.

Its executive director (Socio-Economic Development) Anwar Mohd Zain said DBKL was impressed by the commitment and determination shown by residents in various parts of the city who had transformed parcels of land into thriving and sustainable green lungs.

“We are impressed and we hope to encourage more community farming to inspire others who are thinking about doing it.

“However, this must be done properly and legally as we don’t want to deal with issues of trespassing and encroachment later on, ’’ he said.

He added that the urban farms could be a community effort or an individual undertaking.

Anwar said many plots of DBKL land were underutilised and had become rubbish dumps.

Anwar: Urban farming must be done properly and legally.Anwar: Urban farming must be done properly and legally.

“It may be land in front of your house or behind or nearby, which can be used to farm and produce food for personal consumption or even sold for profit, ” he said.

Urban farming is one of the initiatives under the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) whereby DBKL collaborates with the private sector, non-governmental organisations and residents living around the respective area to create community gardens in their neighbourhoods.

“We have worked with People’s Housing Projects, schools and residents associations to promote community-based agriculture, and never have I seen it take off this fast like it has during the past year, ” said Anwar.

He said DBKL’s initial target was 30 community farming projects that started five years ago.

The number is now close to 100 all over the capital city.

Those interested in community farming are advised to contact Rashdan Rashid at 010-226 0296 or email or

He is the Kuala Lumpur urban farming chairman under the LA21 programme.

Rashdan will initiate the process by identifying the land and its status, via DBKL.

If there are no disputes, the individuals interested in starting an urban farm will be sent for basic training before being allowed to cultivate the land.

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