Hopes Malaysia Has Empowered Over 280 Rural Sabah Families With Sustainable Food Sources To Overcome Rising Food Demand And Inflation
The Covid-19 pandemic has left a devastating mark on the people of Sabah, the poorest state in Malaysia. This has resulted in Sabah topping in absolute poverty, with many underprivileged families in the state having faced job losses and are struggling to survive, Life is even more difficult for Sabah’s over 41,000 hardcore poor as rising food costs of 60-100% and unstable food supply issues loom over festive celebrations into an uncertain 2023. Food insecurity is a worsening issue for B40 Sabahans.
In the remote, rural Kadamaian area of Kota Belud, Sabah, food insecurity is a constant worry of families in the over 74 poverty-stricken villages scattered throughout the neglected district. Local families often live without stable income or basic needs, such as food or clean water. These factors combined with the lack of basic infrastructure in villages and years of unsustainable monoculture farming has made rural life a nightmare for many. How can families and their children reach a brighter future when they cannot even eat sufficiently?
Hopes Malaysia believes that Sustainable Farming is the key to long-term food security. Since 2016, the Kota Kinabalu Civil Society organisation (CSO) has been empowering Sabah's rural community to fulfill their basic needs, especially the growing need for ample fresh food. More than 280 rural Kota Belud families from over 10 villages have since participated in the CSO’s expanding sustainable farming initiatives.
Through community farming workshops and efficient sustainable farming methods, the farmers have been able to grow diverse crops and rear fish as lasting food sources. Families are able to consistently harvest an average of 5kg of fresh vegetables per cycle, selling extra in their communities for additional income.
Part of Hopes Malaysia's sustainable initiative with Star Social Impact Grant (SSIG), farmers from the rural Kadamaian community have been able to naturally convert their farmland into secure food sources. Once only growing limited crops on small beddings, the use of sustainable farming techniques, such as vermicomposting fertiliser, natural pesticides and durable farm netting, have improved farming conditions and encouraged farmers in the isolated villages to grow various vegetables. Effective sustainable farming materials, skills and knowledge have enabled families to achieve food self-sufficiency while reducing their food expenses, leading to long-term food security even during food crises.
“Sustainable farming has been proven to not only help rural families, but also the environment. Even while the country faces food shortages, farmers will always have a secure and cost-free food supply close to home.” explains Hopes Malaysia’s Founder Sam Lee. Food demand and prices are expected to only increase with the unpredictable global environment. “It is crucial now more than ever for Sabahans to start sustainable farming before food becomes more expensive”.
Aligned with the United Nations' SDGs in this Decade of Action, Hopes Malaysia aims to equip more rural Sabah families to sustainably farm for their own food. We greatly need your support to help villagers in need. Please click the button below if you are keen to explore CSR opportunities with us to sustainably help and break the cycle of poverty for families left behind in rural Sabah.