29-Year-Old Software Engineer Leaves Office Job To Become A Chilli Farmer In His Hometown

He said he finds immense satisfaction in his new vocation.

Cover image via Bernama & Borneo Bulletin/Bernama

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After finding joy in tending to plants during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Malaysian decided to leave his job as a software engineer to embrace the new adventure of starting a chilli farm in his hometown

In a recent interview with Bernama, A Srinath said he got hooked on farming when he and his eldest brother started a small-scale farm near their parents' home in Kampung Changkat Jong in Teluk Intan, Perak during the Movement Control Order.

The 29-year-old said they grew over 400 polybags of red chilli plants by fertigation — a farming technique in which liquid fertiliser is delivered to plants through an irrigation system — and did not expect to yield such good results.

"After the work from home period ended, I returned to Subang Jaya to resume working in the office, but I realised that I found great enjoyment in being a farmer," said the Information Technology graduate from Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

"I talked to my parents about planting red chillies on a larger scale, and decided to resign after three years of working as an engineer and returned here to grow chillies," he said when met at his farm in Teluk Intan recently.

Image via Bernama

Using about RM50,000 in savings, Srinath built a storage facility and bought essential equipment, such as polybags, pipes, and water pumps, to start his own chilli farm

To improve on his farming knowledge, the young man also attended courses organised by the Perak Department of Agriculture on topics such as seedling germination, fertiliser and pesticide mixing, and even on fertigation itself.

And his efforts have proven fruitful.

Srinath now rents a 0.68-hectare plot of land and has three workers under his employ to tend to over 2,500 polybags of 'Kulai 461' red chilli plants in his farm.

Image via Bernama

Srinath said he is able to generate an income of about RM40,000 to RM50,000 per season, with a yield of about five tonnes

He said his chillies are sold at markets and grocery stores all around Teluk Intan, as well as to wholesalers in Selayang, Selangor, with prices ranging from RM6 to RM11 per kg.

He added that while growing red chillies may require a lot of patience due to challenges such as pest infestations and diseases, he finds immense satisfaction in his new vocation.

"I enjoy and feel satisfied working on this fertigation chilli farm. I am also growing cucumbers on a small scale," he said.

"I have long-term plans to expand operations, and of course, I want to continue this venture in my hometown," he added.

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