Former editor nurtures new life as farmer

Bountiful endeavour: Yusaini showing some of the produce from his farm that he started about three years ago in Seelong, Kulai.

JOHOR BARU: He used to chase news stories, keep to tight deadlines and was once arrested and questioned for five days for a story he wrote.

That was the hectic, demanding and challenging journalism days that spanned 20 years of his life.

Now, Yusaini Ali is enjoying a more relaxed and easy-going life, having decided to switch industries as age caught up.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, he started a vegetable farm in Seelong, Kulai, about three years ago.

“I managed to apply for the lease of a plot of 12.1ha land from the government to plant vegetables and never looked back since.

“My farm produces a variety of crops such as cucumber, pumpkin, long beans, mustard greens, chilies and spinach.

“Life is quite different now compared to my hectic days as a journalist. Once, I was arrested and investigated under the Official Secrets Act in 1995 for an article I wrote in a Malay daily.

“I was under remand for five days but was never charged in court, thankfully,” Yusaini, 51, said in an interview.

The father of six said after resigning as a journalist, he went on to become the chief editor for a state government-linked news publication and also got involved in the publication of several magazines.

Now as a newbie in the farming industry, Yusaini said he faced many challenges including proper ways to care for the crops to prevent them from “falling ill”, as well as dealing with the unstable prices of vegetables.

He added that he has since learnt how to overcome some of the problems and would not shy away from embracing technology to improve his farm.

Recently, he participated in the FarmByte Food Hub programme run by Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd’s subsidiary where they marry technology with farming.

“I use its app to identify the issues with my crops. The programme helps to ensure that my harvests are priced fairly in the coming months and determine future demands to better plan my production,” he said, adding that he uses technology to guide his nine workers and ensure they keep to the schedules.

Yusaini said the main issue for now is the unpredictable weather.

“I am hoping for clearer skies as the recent heavy rainfall and floods destroyed most of my crops. I usually can harvest 100kg to 120kg of spinach for each season but due to the rain, I could only produce 40kg of yield,” he added.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Eight-year-old boy feared drowned in Tanjung Malim river
Cops wrap-up investigation into Dr M over Malay Proclamation campaign
Retailers reminded not to hoard sugar, impose conditions on buyers
Kota Kinabalu caterer loses over RM23,000 in business deal scam
Good relationship between states and Federal Government vital for development, says Ahmad Zahid
Local man, three foreigners nabbed for misappropriating RM7,500 worth of diesel
Teen girl nabbed for faking own kidnapping to extort father
Zahid thanks S'wak Premier for confirming attendance at Umno general assembly
Health Ministry scrutinising manpower shortage issue, says Dr Zaliha
Fahmi: Up to cops to investigate Sanusi's comments on Penang

Others Also Read