The Fruitful Entrepreneur
By Afrina Umairah Muhamad Rahim
University Putra Malaysia ( UPM ), Serdang; 21st Feb 2019; It is difficult to begin or grow a business in this recouping economy. Here is how a PhD student of University Putra Malasyia grab the opportunity of growing a profitable business of fruit farm from his family heritage.
Chu Chang Jie, 31 as a current PhD Student in Agriculture of Process Engineering, UPM owner of a fruit farm in Segamat manage to deal with his time completing a PhD whilst looking after the fruit farm during the weekend.
Therefore, this business had started started since 1995 and it is located in Taman Suria, Buloh Kasap, Segamat. After he graduated from bachelor’s degree which also in UPM, he already interested in to run this fruit farm business.
He told, this fruit farm produces variety of crops such as ‘cempedak’ which similar to jackfruit, guavas, mangoesteens, bananas, and also ‘rebung’ which known as tender shoot of young bamboo plant, coffee plants, ‘bunga kantan’ or torch ginger (Etlingera elatior).
The difference of his farm from others, is that he practices the agroforestry science trophic farming method. Chu Chang Jie mentioned, this agroforestry method could possibly fulfill the need of environmental change as it help to sequester carbon. He stated that, agroforestry technique is the progression of nowadays farmers utilized in enhancing the use of farm.
In this situation, he planted his crops by placing a different species of plant in the same area. For example, he planted durian trees while at the same time on the spacious ground bottom, he ultilized the space by planting coffee trees. In this way, he will be able to profit two type of crops during harvesting season.
Again to indicate, he clarified that he utilize a natural method for planting so as to ensuring the customers continually satisfied and secure when obtaining the product that they bought.
Challenges ahead that have taken place while running this business, are as a result of labor shortages especially in the harvest season. He get the the help of his parents and also his supportive wife. Also, ”a big challenge to control the damage without the use of insecticide” he said.
With the fruits that have been harvested, they will be sell to the greengrocer and sometimes to the fruit stall. Chu Chang Jie also taken some orders to his customer in UPM, and also to the staffs officers.
In addition, he is also promoting his farm by using a website page on Facebook named Peter Syntrophic Farm. Followers of his page often take into account of the current issues and some of them are planters who support organic materials sourced.