Govt rides public trend with set rules for urban community farming
Special Report by Back To Earth News
Amid the doom and gloom of Covid-19 comes a silver lining. How so? Marooned in their homes because of the lockdown many people have turned to community farming to occupy themselves in a meaningful way and to share the fruits of their harvests.
Hence community plots have sprouted in places like USJ12, Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and even in public housing areas where unused land have been converted into productive food gardens.
This trend has not gone unnoticed by the government who in the meantime felt it was timely to formulate guidelines that community farms could abide by. Before this, there was no policy regarding urban farming.
On August 3rd, 2021 Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin announced the Urban Community Farming Policy.
According to Bernama, it outlines five thrusts and 17 strategies that are in line with regulations and procedures currently enforced by local government authorities.
Zuraida explained the farming policy would ensure effective urban landscape management, involving joint responsibilities between local authorities and the local community, with emphasis on the importance of optimising the use of land in the neighbourhood or permitted open spaces.
She said the policy is an initiative to empower the urban communities and create opportunities and rooms for individuals and communities to manage the short-term social economy by encouraging organic vegetable farming.
The five thrusts are as follows.
The first is to develop a systematic, organized and sustainable community garden in Malaysia, the second is to promote urban gardens in urban areas throughout the country, and the third is to foster a spirit of cooperation and social integration among the community through urban community garden activities. The fourth, coordinate cooperation between agencies and create a platform to encourage the involvement and cooperation of all parties in the implementation of communal gardens. the city and the fifth to encourage the community to produce quality food to support daily needs.
In her speech, she also paid tribute to the strategic partners involved with the programme such as Natural Farming Association, Seeds Malaysia, Yayasan Hijau Malaysia, Koperasi Komuniti Selangor Berhad, Persatuan Lestari Alam and Thought for Food Foundation Southeast Asia.
She welcomed their involvement as “part of our work to strengthen initiatives to prosper the social economy of urban communities.”