MOHD Jumaat Sarjiman has poured blood, sweat and tears into planting pineapples in his hometown of Kampung Parit Ghani near Simpang Renggam, Johor. Yet he could not be happier with his decision.
The 32-year-old, whose third child is expected soon, said he had worked at two companies after completing a diploma in mechanical engineering (manufacturing) at Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan before getting into pineapple farming.
“After getting my diploma, I worked with Singapore Post as a delivery rider. Despite the good pay due to the exchange rate, I was not happy. So I gave up my job and returned home.
“Not long after that, I worked at a furniture factory in Simpang Renggam but that too did not last long,” he told StarMetro.
Mohd Jumaat said his exposure to working in pineapple fields from a young age, convinced him that this was his vocation.
He said his father disapproved of his decision and advised him to get a better-paying job.
“I could follow my father’s advice and find a job where I do not have to work under the hot sun, but this is what I do best.
“My father was a pineapple farmer and my heart was set on growing pineapples as I had the knowledge and experience.”
“The Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) helped me start off my venture by providing fertilisers and advice when I started working on a 2.42ha peat soil area back in 2013,” he said.
Mohd Jumaat said that despite having the experience, starting off on his own proved difficult.
However, he persevered as he was determined to make pineapple farming a success.
He plants three popular pineapple variants – MD2, Morris and Josapine.
“My plantation produces about 20,000 fruits a month, with 20% exported to Singapore while the rest is for the local market.
“My income from selling pineapples has been encouraging,” said Mohd Jumaat who has 10 employees.
He encourages youths to get involved in pineapple farming because it is a growing market.
“It is important to have a big land and a never-give-up attitude.
“It is difficult at first but once they have the knowledge on growing pineapples, it will get easier as the fruits do not need a lot of water, just good soil,” he said.
“There is a great sense of satisfaction when harvesting pineapples from your own plantation, especially when you have overcome challenges and difficulties,” he added. — By MOHD FARHAAN SHAH