Aqina B40 Farmers Program is a social entrepreneurship program with a mission to nurture commercial farmer targeting the underserved segment in Malaysia (B40s) in the rural area, in hope to alleviate them from systemic poverty and provide them a pathway to achieve financial sustainability. Currently we have successfully nurtured 20 farmers, who came from different backgrounds such as janitors, truck drivers, fresh graduates etc. We are now in the process of recruiting another 40 farmers to join the program.
The basis of the program are as such:
Each participants are allocated with a 5 acres of land to conduct their business operation, in provision by the landowner (state government or government agencies). In collaboration with the Project Developer (Aqina Farm), the agreement period is 6 years or 3 crop cycles. Additionally, we have partnered up with Agrobank to facilitate a bank loan of RM280,000 for each farmer to conduct its business. Aqina creates a centre of excellence and act as a mentor for the target beneficiaries.
Other support received by the B40 are as follow:
Aqina provides high-quality seedlings according to the specifications set by the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) to ensure higher and stable yield. Farmers also receive comprehensive training on innovative & more sustainable agricultural knowledge and business related to MD2 Pineapple according to MyGAP and ISO standard, along with financial management and reporting knowledge according to MFRS standards. Equipments are also provided on site for farmers to use. Farmers receive stable monthly income from the start of the program, which are now ranging from RM3000-4000/mth. Residential facilities equipped with standard living necessities (wifi, kitchen, canteen, bathrooms, rooms etc) are provided at the farm. Aqina also provides a buyback guarantee, ensuring purchase of produce from the participants, helping farmers to create market linkages.
Project Results / Impact on Stakeholder
Target beneficiaries: B40 Farmers & families
- Enhanced Skills: Acquired knowledge in business and sustainable plantation skills to become a successful MD2 farmer, achieving higher output based on successful plantation practice
- Improved Livelihood: higher income translates to higher standard of living
- Access to Resources: Exposure to start up capital and land that might be difficult for B40 to access
- Increased Income and stability: Higher and stable income even during pre-harvest period of 15-18 months
- Good financial record: Positive financial business record with regular up-keeping record with MFRS standard by the end of the program to access financial facilities from the bank
- Lowered business risk: Guided with SOP and proven plantation practice
- Financial Sustainability: Gained a pathway and ability to support themselves and their families financially in the long run