Launching of CAP’s Urban Garden Training

A Gift of CAP publications from CAP President Mohideen Abdul Kader to YB Nurul Izzah. On right are Dato Seri Anwar Faizal and Meenakshi Raman on right.

Speech by  CAP’s President, Mr Mohideen Abdul Kader

Our current system of industrial agriculture and pest control relies heavily on chemical inputs. Science shows that even at low levels of exposure, many of these chemicals are harmful to human health especially on children as their developing minds and bodies are particularly vulnerable.

From CAP’s ventures, and experience of small-scale farmers it is increasingly clear that chemical-free approaches to farming are not only viable, but would strengthen the resilience of agricultural production. We have demonstrated that yields can be increased sustainably, promote food safety and food security, improve livelihoods and successfully decrease or refrain from using agro-chemical inputs.

YB Nurul Izzah Speaking at the Launch of the CAP’s Urban Garden Training Programme.

CAP has also been actively promoting urban farming or kitchen gardening among households. Vegetables and herbs grown in simple containers can help families meet their needs for fresh and nutritious produce which are free of chemical residues and also reduced their food expenses. This can be integrated with rainwater harvesting and composting of garden and kitchen organic waste.

CAP’s school garden projects have raised students’ awareness of the importance of food production and provided them with training in agriculture, practical nutrition education and also marketing of their produce.  Our intention is to inculcate among children and youth that agriculture is a viable career path.

Subbarow explaining the CAP urban farming project.

The old paradigm of industrial, energy-intensive and toxic agriculture is a concept of the past. Our natural resources such as soil, and agro-biodiversity have been degraded or lost and in some cases irreversibly. Meanwhile, climate change is already leaving its mark in the agriculture sector, and will do so on a much greater scale in the future.

These realities all call for specific responses at the policy level. Small-scale farming and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward to provide food security, avert food crisis and meet our needs.

YB Nurul Izzah planting a tomato plant.

Malaysia must have high targets and strategic plans for the country.  For example Bolivia aims to become entirely self-sufficient in food production by 2020 by enhancing local capacities.  The Government of Bolivia has allocated funds to support farmers in sustainable food production and invest in food security projects.  The intention is also to reduce or halt food imports which would not only help improve livelihoods of local farmers and businesses, but help cut down emissions.

YB Nurul Izzah harvesting lady’s finger on the CAP farm.

Other examples include the tiny mountain nation of Bhutan which announced in 2011 its goal to make the country’s agricultural system 100 percent organic by the year 2020. The Danish government is also working in multiple ways to convert the entire country’s agriculture into organic and sustainable farming. In 2015, they released an ambitious plan to double organic farming, and to serve more organic food in the nation’s public institutions by 2020.

Sikkim in India is now a 100% organic state, with no chemical pesticides or fertilizers and no GMOs. This shows that organic food in an entire region is possible.   Hence we call upon the Malaysian government to implement strong policies and programmes for chemical-free sustainable farming.  Funds should also be allocated to groups such as CAP who can assist in moving the plans forward.

15 January 2022