LAHAD DATU: Cattle breeding. Growing dragon fruit. These may not sound like fascinating career choices, but two sons of settlers in Felda Sahabat here are having the last laugh.
Felda provided the land as well as guidance on how to successfully carry out integrated cattle breeding to Bakri Pawerdi, 34, and on dragon fruit cultivation to Mohd Fadly Sultan, 30.
Because of that and the determination of these two young men, they can earn RM78,000 to RM1mil a year.
Mohd Fadly has been growing dragon fruit since 2011. To date, about 5,000 trees have been planted on seven hectares of land provided at Felda Sahabat 1 in Kampung Anjung Teduh.
Mohd Fadly chose to plant dragon fruit as its market is still new and the fruit can produce many downstream products.
He said at present, there were a total of 2,000 fruit trees in his field producing 1,500kg of dragon fruit a month with a gross income of RM12,000.
“The dragon fruit is in high demand and is currently being marketed in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu, ” he said during a visit by Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin to Felda Sahabat near here recently.
Mohd Fadly said that besides his determination, the dragon fruit cultivation was successful due to the opportunity given by Felda in providing the site and full support.
As such, he is confident that the Settlers’ Development Programme (PPP), which will be Felda’s focus this year, will enable more children of settlers to venture into agriculture and livestock activities.
“The PPP aims to create additional income streams for the settlers so that they no longer have to depend entirely on oil palm, ” said Mohd Fadly, who has four youths in Felda Sahabat working for him.
Meanwhile, Bakri breeds beef cattle in Felda Sahabat 2, Cenderawasih, and is now one of the
main suppliers of beef cattle in the state.
He started the integration of cattle farming with oil palm cultivation in 2004 with 20 cows.
He now has 3,350 cows.
Bakri decided to breed cattle because of the high demand for cattle from his farm, which is not only a major supplier in Sabah and Sarawak but also in Brunei.
“This success is due to the encouragement and support provided by Felda, especially in giving permission for a free grazing area for the cattle, as well as the advice and guidance provided, ” said Bakri.
He received the Usahawan Penternak Jaya award in conjunction with National Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen Day 2017.
He said between 600 and 1,000 heads of cattle could be supplied from his livestock farm every year, with a gross income of RM1mil a year.
Bakri’s integrated cattle ranch also provides employment opportunities to 52 workers, who are among the settlers and youths in Felda Sahabat. — Bernama
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