CETDEM Organic Farming Project



Background and Objectives

Organic farming is gaining popularity in Malaysia today, partly due to the effect of CETDEM's Organic Farm which operated for some 10 years at Sungai Buloh, near Kuala Lumpur (CETDEM started its 1st Community Farm in mid September 1996 in Subang New Village).

What began as a one-acre experiment in 1987 grew well enough to be a proven venture. The small farm was growing vegetables and fruits, without the use of any chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

The farm concentrated on a variety of local vegetables including cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, long beans, radish, eggplants, mustard [sawi], and spinach [bayam]. It was also growing tropical fruits like papaya and banana.

Within a few years, possibly much to the surprise of some cynics, the farm was flourishing enough to be doing direct sales and even retailing its produce through two supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur.

Today, the farm is closed. But only to launch a new beginning.

CETDEM decided that with its limited resources, it has to spread the good philosophy and practice of organic farming and kitchen gardening. The practical experiences learnt need to be shared, more so when there is an urgent need to increase the quality and quantity of organic produce in the Malaysian market.



The main objectives of the Project are to demonstrate the viability of organic farming in the Malaysian environment and to promote public appreciation of environmental issues including:

- The conservation of resources

- The need for changes in lifestyle

The current phase of the Project focuses on sharing our experiences with farmers, trainers and individuals so that more organic produce is available in the country

Specifically, from 1986 to 1996, the CETDEM organic farm:

  1. Sought to cultivate an appreciation of farming [especially organic farming] while being a practical contribution to the national effort to be self-sufficient in food;

  2. Allowed the development and application of ecologically sound agricultural practices as well as the utilization of renewable energy systems; and

  3. Enabled both interns and volunteers to improve their own skills through participation in farm activities while allowing them to provide a practical learning environment for children who spent weekends and school holidays at the farm.



In the early years, the Project received financial support from Bread for the World (1988 - 1992) and HIVOS (1998 - 1999). In between it was funded from income from the Organic Farm itself.

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