Being a single mother, Sharifah Masri decided to undergo an entrepreneurship programme in 2019 under one of the People Development Companies (PDCs) formed during the transformation, leading her to agropreneurship.
She did not have to wait long as she was among the first group of 20 people to embark on a chilli plantation scheme jointly initiated by the PDCs and Gropoint Sdn Bhd.
Gropoint, through its sister company Superfish Growers Sdn Bhd (SFG), is the producer of Melts Premium Musk Melons and Finer Greens for the production of lettuces and cherry tomatoes using hydroponics at the farms of Agrotech Park in Tungku.
Under the programme, each agropreneur is allocated two greenhouses, measuring 320 square metres each, come equipped with underground fertigation technology provided by SFG. While SFG offers the technical expertise, training and farming skills, the PDCs handle the seed funding to kick start the programme, including the cost of the greenhouses.
Sharifah grabbed the opportunity after going through a microbusiness bootcamp, a series of briefings and visits to Superfish farm, and sitting down with the Business Development Manager of SFG Nur Hazel Lim to discuss the prospects of the business.
Nur Hazel Lim said SFG focuses on creating a sustainable agriculture ecosystem by ensuring the quality of the environment, the efficiency of the supply chain and the skills and commitment of the participants.
“We continuously improve the way we operate across our integrated supply chain through research and development of new technology – the Superfish system,” Nur Hazel Lim highlighted. This, Sharifah said, is the perfect opportunity for her and her fellow agropreneurs to benefit from the established system of SFG.
Sharifah has completed theoretical training and is currently undergoing practical training on farming while preparing to complete the plots of land.
“It is a great opportunity for me to start all over again,” Sharifah said, adding that by venturing into agropreneurship, she will be able to give back to society by creating new jobs and even helping the nation’s economic development.
“At the same time, it will benefit me in the long run,” Sharifah added.
She said that partnering with SFG and the community is a privilege, as agropreneurs will have access to infrastructure, post-harvest facilities, proper agri-business planning, operational skills, marketing solutions, and modern-day farming methods and the broad trading platform under SFG.
“We will be able to supply our chillies to local restaurants and supermarkets that work closely with SFG,” she said.
Speaking on her new venture, Miss Sheri’s Agrowth, Sharifah shared that “my goal for Vision 2035 is to expand the business by targetting the Brunei market first, then regionally and other countries internationally.”
The above is an article From desk to farm, published in The Borneo Bulletin on 27 August 2021, written by Rizal Faisal.