THE government has launched a vegetable farm programme on empty land under high-tension electric cables to support low-income families to make a living as well as help cater to the local consumer demand for crops such as chilli.
The programme Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat (IPR) INTAN @ PJ City Food Valley is the first of its kind in the country and will be expanded to other states soon said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli at the launch which took place beside Rumah Pangsa Pelangi Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
The project is a collaboration between the ministry of economy, Petaling Jaya City Council and the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS).
Some 40 participants from the local community from the B40 category were roped into the programme for two years.
Each person will be given 1,000 polybags of chilli to grow in the land cleared, with infrastructure made available by PKPS near Pelangi Damansara.
The crops will be sold by the PKPS and the participants have the potential to take home between about RM2,000 to RM2,500 a month.
“We are currently importing about 60% of our chilli and ginger. If we can create a good supply in the country, there will be no shortage.
“The aim of the project is to provide job opportunities to the B40 and to cater to the needs of the local food supply demands which will also indirectly help reduce inflation in the long run,” he said.
He added that the aim is to cultivate such agro businesses around the country.
He added that instead of focusing on big projects that would require some form of construction and come with its share of debt, this form of agriculture project will directly benefit the poor and help the economy.