Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Too much pesticides in Vegetables

'Stop excessive use of pesticides'
Tuesday October 26, 2010

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Far­mers here are advised not to go overboard when using pesticides to ensure their produce continues to be in demand.

"Excessive use of pesticides will affect the good name of Cameron Highlands as a major vegetable producer.

"It will also affect the confidence of importers," said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Chua Tee Yong.

He also advised the farmers to protect their health.

"There have been reports that some farmers have died due to the excessive use of pesticides," he told reporters after opening the national-level Good Agri­cultural Practice Campaign here yesterday.

He was commenting on the opening speech by agriculture director-general Datuk Roseley Khalid earlier, who said a campaign had been launched to educate farmers on the use of pesticides.

Roseley said the campaign was launched in Cameron Highlands because there had been many reports that farmers here were not prudent when using pesticides for their crops.

Chua also called on state governments to communicate regularly with farmers, to give them confidence and security to invest in upgrading their farms.

"One of the reasons why farmers use a lot of pesticides for their crops is because the land lease on their temporary occupation licence is short.

"So they use pesticides to increase their production and maximise their output within the given lease time," he said.

In his speech earlier, Chua said he was confident the campaign would create awareness to farmers about the importance of good agricultural practices. --The Star News

Developing Cameron Highlands High Tech Farms

488ha of high-tech farms to be developed
Tuesday October 26, 2010

A TOTAL of 488ha of high-tech farms will be developed in Lojing and Cameron Highlands in efforts to increase production of quality fruit and vegetables bound for premium markets.

Four agriculture parks and a modern farming park will also be producing tropical fruits, while 9,000ha of an oil palm plantation owned by a government-linked company have been identified for intercropping of bananas and pineapples during the first three years of the oil palm replanting period.

These efforts are part of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry’s efforts to tap into premium markets, one of four projects identified to achieve the goal of transitioning from agriculture to agribusiness under the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP).

The project aims to upgrade the capabilities of farmers to produce quality fresh produce that meet food safety standards of the premium European and Middle Eastern markets and reap the fruits of the growing global market for premium foods.

Limited compliance to global food safety standards, among other issues, have hampered efforts of producers to tap into demands for fresh produce for premium markets despite the nation’s ideal location and weather for growing tropical fruit as well as temperate crops in the highland areas.

The core crops that will be produced for export are the premium varieties of tropical fruit such as eksotica papaya, pineapple, rock melon, starfruit, jackfruit, banana, tomato, capsicum and lettuce.

Produce exported as premium products would command a higher price and could earn farmers a monthly income of about RM4,500 per hectare.

It is also estimated the project would contribute RM1.6bil to the gross national income and create 9,100 jobs in 2020. -- The Star News

Monday, October 18, 2010

Food from Organic Farming

Some interesting information about food from organic farming. Is this a healthier choice? Some would think so. However organic vegetables tend to be more expensive and could burn a hole in your pocket in your quest to have a healthier lifestyle. And for me? Give and take, because organic food are expensive so I don't indulge in it so much. - Jan.

Watch what you eat
By Andrew Sia
Monday October 18, 2010

World Food Day is observed on Oct 16. It provides an opportune time to take a closer look at what we tuck into daily.

OH no, not another preachy health food article!" A common reaction during our invincible youth, when we are free to eat whatever we want as it seems nothing will stop us from living forever – into an unimaginably ancient age at least.

But, as this writer discovered, the steady march of time reaps a harvest of little niggly aches and pains, spells of low energy and ominous head-shaking from doctors reading cholesterol test levels.

I, too, once believed that organic food was an over-priced indulgence of health freaks. But then I discovered that I felt more energetic because it digested well in my body, whereas some of the char koay teow or oily curry seemed to sit forever in my stomach, causing post-lunch lethargy.

Being a fussy foodie used to the wonderful flavours of Malaysian food, I was worried that healthy food was, well, bland. And I could not believe that organic vegetarian food could be so tasty until I had tried the buffet at GK Organic Farm near Bangi, Selangor.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cameron Highlands Gua Musang Road Needs Lights

Gua Musang-Cameron Highlands road needs lights
Friday October 15, 2010

Gua Musang in Kelantan is only about a 90-minute drive from Cameron Highlands. The journey of about 100km is truly enjoyable if you are travelling during the day. The cool breeze and greenery plus those Orang Asli settlements on both sides of the road give you a pleasant feeling and an experience of what eco-tourism is all about.

Nowadays, more local and foreign tourists are using this road to travel between Gua Musang and Cameron Highlands as this is the shortest way and also easiest to get to the North-South Expressway at Simpang Pulai.