Reaping profit from food waste

Food waste processed into compost for plants.

Who would have thought that food waste could help generate side income for families at low-cost housing schemes?

A group of residents at the Beringin People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Kuala Lumpur have taken the initiative to process food waste into compost to fertilise crops.

Beds of Brazilian spinach grown in community gardens set up in the PPR compound are fertilised with compost before the leaves are processed into crispy chips to be sold in the market, thus generating income for the locals.

PPR Beringin Rukun Tetangga (RT) chairman Che Roziani Mohd Shariff said the yield and quality of the Brazilian spinach had increased by three times due to the use of the compost.

“For a long time, we tried to produce crispy Brazilian spinach chips but the results were not encouraging,” she said.

“To produce quality chips, of course the main ingredient, the Brazilian spinach itself, must be of high quality.”

She said the food waste was collected at a designated location with the cooperation of PPR residents, and it would be processed daily using a 60-litre capacity machine that took about 24 hours to turn the waste into compost.

Che Roziani inspecting the Brazilian spinach grown at the PPR Beringin community garden. — BernamaChe Roziani inspecting the Brazilian spinach grown at the PPR Beringin community garden. — Bernama

The production of the Brazilian spinach chips helps single mothers in the area to earn around RM60 a day, she added.

The fertiliser is used for the cultivation of ornamental plants too, including a variety of caladium and coleus plants as well as spider plants sold at below market price.

The PPR Beringin RT also intends to commercialise the production of the fertiliser and is ready to work with any party.

“We have applied to the Agriculture Department to test this fertiliser so that the analysis of its content and quality can be displayed on the package label,” said Che Roziani. — Bernama

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food waste , compost , fertilise crops , PPR


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