Former M'sian Engineer Opens Successful Vegetable Farm With Hungarian Wife In Switzerland

Before moving to Switzerland, he worked at a Malaysian oil and gas company.

Cover image via Eryzal Zainal/Berita Harian

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While stories of young Malaysians finding work overseas on farms and orchards are not uncommon, there are also Malaysians who have migrated abroad to start their own successful vegetable businesses

One such individual is 41-year-old Eryzal Zainal, who now resides in Sorens, Switzerland.

Eryzal, originally from Ipoh, moved to the country in 2017 with his Hungarian wife, Zsuzsanna, 40, and their daughter, Inez, 5.

According to Berita Harian, the entrepreneur turned a plot of land near his home in Sorens into a popular vegetable garden that spans an impressive 5,000 sq m.

The garden boasts a variety of vegetables, including eight types of tomatoes, five types of cucumbers, cabbages, broccolis, carrots, and more.

Eryzal with his wife, Zsuzsanna, and their daughter, Inez.

Image via Eryzal Zainal/Berita Harian

Eryzal Zainal and Inez at his farm in Sorens, Switzerland.

Image via Eryzal Zainal/Berita Harian

Before moving to Switzerland, Eryzal worked as an engineer at a Malaysian oil and gas company

However, in 2014, he was dismissed from his role, prompting him to start travelling to various countries. To date, Eryzal has visited 60 different countries across the globe.

Upon his migration to Switzerland with his wife, the 41-year-old initially took on small jobs in the village where he now lives.

He shared that he used to help locals manage their livestock and vegetable farms, receiving payment in cash and cheese.

"My wife and I share the same interest in nature. We decided to travel and volunteer on farms in the countries we visited.

"From that, we learned how to manage plants and animals. After travelling for several months, we arrived in Switzerland and decided to try practising the agriculture knowledge we had been carrying," he said.

This experience eventually led Eryzal to pursue a full-time career as a farmer after he was offered land for agricultural purposes

The couple sells their harvest using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, where customers pay a seasonal fee in advance to receive regular vegetable baskets.

CSA is a farming model that directly connects consumers with local farmers, giving members access to farm produce harvested directly from their land.

Additionally, they sell their produce at a local farmer's market once a week.

"Every Saturday, I will bring the harvest to the market while my wife sells them directly from the farm. We set up a table and arrange the vegetables, and thankfully, we receive a good response," he shared.

Eryzal and his daughter at the farmer's market.

Image via Eryzal Zainal/Berita Harian

Through his farming experience, Eryzal said that he has learned the importance of patience, as he must wait for crops to yield results day by day

Sometimes, he would also face difficulties managing his farm, as unexpected situations may arise.

"Through gardening, we can become more patient, willing to share, and steadfast. After all, farming is not always as beautiful as a rainbow.

"At times, there are various problems like storms and hail. However, we must go through them all because those obstacles are part of the twists and turns of life. At the end of the day, we can experience unparalleled satisfaction with what we've grown," he said.

Today, Eryzal's farm provides locals with access to high-quality vegetables sourced straight from their neighbourhood.

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