Best CBC in Sabah 2011

Using worms to create an organic farming movement online

Mar 11, 2013   //   Entrepreneurs
En Hasim Morat
Baja Vermikompos & Vermitea
Celcom 1Malaysia Internet Centre at Felda Rimba Mas, Perlis
 
Working from the ground up, Hasim’s vermicompost business expanded into new markets via his blog

Working from the ground up, Hasim’s vermicompost business expanded into new markets via his blog

Most people don’t know just how valuable worms can be. For 57-year-old Hasim Morat, worms are both his income and the future of organic farming!

Hasim began as a fish farmer. Through catfish farming, Hasim was first exposed to vermicompost, since catfish ponds require vermicompost to feed the phytoplankton that nourish the smaller fish to become food for the catfish, as well as prevent excessive weed growth.

Realising the benefits of vermicompost and the potential business, Hasim undertook a Vermicompost Commercialisation Course at AZR Agro Centre. Then, using a RM20,000 start-up fund from Perlis Agriculture Department, Hasim began commercial production of vermicompost. But when it came to marketing vermicompost, Hasim was stuck.

Snapshot-worm2b

Expanding business by starting an online organic farming movement

Hasim realised he needed to educate local farmers on the benefits of vermicompost, but he didn’t have the time. That was when his daughter decided to step in and help. She attended the training at the 1Malaysia Internet Centre, where she learned how to use the internet to create an educational blog.

Together, the father-daughter team educated farmers on the nutrient-rich benefits of vermicompost that promotes faster growth of plants, increases crop yield with less irrigation, reduces soil erosion, lessens wasteland formation, is chemical-free, and produces better crops.

Their blog reached into new markets, educating farmers on the superiority of vermicompost and sparking a local organic farming movement. The business soon expanded to support farms across the state of Perlis, and was even marketed at the National Farming Expo.

Hasim now successfully employs five people, contributing to the economy growth and rural development of Felda Rimba Mas, while supporting his own family with a lucrative monthly income of RM3,000 – 4,000.