Youth cool with becoming a cucumber farmer

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

KUANTAN – Muhammad Rusydan Fikri Mohd Roslan’s advertising and graphics studio was not spared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business he started after graduating from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) in 2018 with a visual communications degree survived less than two years.

He said it stopped doing well after the first movement control order (MCO) last March.

However, being the eldest son and family breadwinner – because his dad had passed away – he had to find a new source of income to care for his mum.

“My uncle suggested I go into cucumber farming because it’s easy and profitable,” said the 27-year-old from Kuantan.

“I was nervous in the beginning because I didn’t have any experience and I had borrowed RM8,000 from my relatives to start.

“I was also just trying it out after getting a short lesson from a cucumber farm in Temerloh.”

After giving up an air-conditioned office and working under the hot sun, Muhammad Rusydan has now become successful and is helping small food businesses by giving them free cucumbers.

He said he started cultivating the farm with the help of his uncle, aunt and friend in August, and by October he was harvesting hundreds of kilogrammes of cucumbers a day.

The harvest from the one-acre (0.4ha) piece of land leased in Pandan was sold to wholesalers at 70 sen per kg.

“When I was harvesting my first cucumbers I remembered my friends wondering why I would want to do this since farming is not popular among young people.

“But I enjoy it and feel healthier because I use a lot of energy,” said Muhammad Rusydan, who has lost 7kg since switching careers.

He said he decided to give away some of his cucumbers because he realised many people were going through a tough time because of the MCO.

He advertised on social media that they could come for the cucumbers as long as they wear a mask and bring their own bags.

“If they insist on paying, I tell them to give what they can afford. But even if they can’t, they shouldn’t be shy because the intention is to give it free,” said Muhammad Rusydan.

The second child from a family of three children said that he gives away what has been harvested on the day because he believes a sedekah (charitable donation) must be good quality.