FARID IZZEADY BIN AMIR WAHIDUDDIN
Turning Barren Farming Lands into Thriving Farmlands
Farid Izzeady bin Amir Wahiduddin has a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science and, as a Managing Director at Diribumi Ecological Services, provides consultation on organic farming methods and works actively to enhance the lives of the rural community.
Farid’s enterprise stemmed from his love for rural folk. He wanted to bring some positive changes to the lives of rural communities through the environmental knowledge he had garnered from his university education, which gave birth to Diribumi Ecological Services.
Organising talk programmes for students, organising jungle treks to reconnect youth with nature, identifying communities’ best farming practices and linking them to the general public, reintroducing traditional farming practices, participating in regional conversations to share knowledge on agroecology and traditional farming practices, promoting and reviving traditional food varieties are some of the activities that continue to flourish through his organisation.
Farid’s is a success story. So far, they have worked in 10 villages. Of these, 7 villages practised chemical farming methods. With agroforestry as their theme, after a host of talk programmes and training, the villages have now phased out agrochemicals and planted paddy and vegetables in an organic way.
In 3 more villages, they started anew with organic. “The landowners left their agricultural land uncultivated. We approached and convinced them of the benefits and the urgent need for organic farming, and soon they plunged into action, giving life to the barren land by introducing the natural farming techniques.
“For paddy cultivation, we introduced the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods to farmers. We train the farmers from scratch on how to till the land, plant, and harvest and all the other details on shedding toxic chemicals and replacing them with organic inputs.
“We alert the farmers in advance of the possibility of the harvest dropping in their first attempt, as the land needs time to recuperate after all the toxic onslaught it has gone through as a result of conventional farming methods,” explained Izzeady.
The village folks are humble and benevolent by nature. Approaching them for a noble cause bears results most of the time. We strongly believe that any barren land should be turned into natural farming land as part of the initiative to increase food safety and sovereignty,” said Izzeady.
“We also work with the indigenous people. The livelihood of Temiar, the indigenous community of Gua Musang, Kelantan, was hard hit by logging activities. As a result of this, the Temiar’s forest-based skills to make a living were severely disrupted.
“In order to protect their livelihood, we formed the Kebun Mandiri Orang Asli (Indigenous Peoples Organic Farm). It aimed to provide training on natural farming which would enable them to produce their own food while preserving their lifestyles and traditions,” he said.
Diribumi Ecological Services has also been drawing up plans for composting activities. “So far, we have made agreements with 10 restaurant owners in the Taiping area and invested in a waste shredding machine.
“We plan to collect 3 tonnes of waste per month. A plan to link university students to study the nutritional value of the compost is also in the pipeline,” he added.
“All our activities are geared towards inculcating environmental awareness among youth and the public and motivating the village folks to shift to safer farming methods,” concluded Izzeady.