Nesting New Dreams: GPF Malaysia Uplifts Rural Communities through Chicken Farming

Sofia Aminudin
June 10, 2024
An older man and a young boy sit in a chicken coop, each holding young chicks. The coop has a mix of metal and wood walls, with several chicks on the ground around them. This scene captures the essence of Nesting New Dreams in the realm of chicken farming.

“I feed them twice a day, at about 7 AM and 4 PM. I also regularly replace the wood remnants in their coop whenever I notice they are getting wet.” -Mamak Lipa

In the wake of 2022, as communities worldwide began to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, a pressing reality came to light for the Orang Asli families (indigenous people of Malaysia): the stark loss of income and the dwindling food supply.

This period of uncertainty underscored a crucial question: How could we, as a society, offer enduring support to mitigate such situations in the future?

Within this context, chicken farming emerged as a pivotal cornerstone. Far from being just an agricultural activity, it became a conduit for empowering the Orang Asli with invaluable skills and knowledge in sustainable farming.

Some of our farmers had experience in chicken rearing, but they needed more formal training and guidance. Recognizing this gap, our initiative provided them with resources and offered comprehensive training sessions, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to enhance their traditional practices into sustainable and thriving chicken farming methods.

A group of people sits on mats and chairs in a living room while a person at the front gives a presentation with a projected slide on the wall, discussing sustainable chicken farming techniques and their impact on rural communities.

Our officers conduct group training sessions to ensure cohesive learning experiences and foster a supportive community among the farmers.

Central to our mission is the concept of capacity building, which involves equipping the Orang Asli community with the necessary expertise to succeed in chicken farming, thereby ensuring their livelihoods, nutrition, and food security are fortified against future uncertainties.

Our commitment to this cause is deeply rooted in our core values and objectives. We aim to support and elevate the Orang Asli community towards sustainable self-reliance.

Our team stories

Our team has always been the heart and soul of this journey. Led by Ah Siu and Eliena, they embody the passion and drive that fuel our journey. Their commitment shines brightest when they witness the spark of excitement in our chicken farmers’ eyes, a passion that mirrors theirs.

A man wearing a headlamp carefully places chicks into a cardboard box, illustrating the dedication of chicken farming in rural communities. In the background, another person records the process with a smartphone, capturing moments that might be shared by GPF Malaysia.

Karim carefully inspected the condition of the chicks in the box.

Our team also managed five training sessions, which included modules on free-range chicken care, disease prevention, coop expansion and maintenance, supplement planting, and marketing strategies.

Venturing all the way to Melaka, our team embarks on nocturnal journeys to collect chicks, ensuring their safe delivery to the villages. They often work tirelessly until the early hours past midnight. This relentless dedication is evident to our overarching goal, which is to

empower and stand alongside our farmers, providing guidance and support every step of the way.

Eliena, our field officer and a Jakun member, finds deep fulfillment in the farmers’ visible joy and satisfaction. “The happiness I see on their faces makes this initiative profoundly rewarding,” she said.

However, our team’s efforts extend far beyond this. They engage in comprehensive training sessions with the farmers, equipping them with essential skills and knowledge. From teaching them how to produce fish fertilizers for the plantation of alternative food sources and creating Effective Microorganisms (EM) to guiding them through the step-by-step process of chicken processing, our team ensures that the farmers are well-prepared. This includes emphasizing the importance of hygiene and the techniques for packing and weighing chickens, ensuring that our community is familiar with the process.

A group of young chickens in an enclosure with a mix of light and dark feathers, surrounded by green leaves and wood shavings on the ground, showcases the essence of rural communities dedicated to sustainable chicken farming.

“Our main objective is to support them, assuring them of our constant presence and guidance,” said Chungsiu, a field officer.

Our farmer stories

Let’s take a glimpse into the daily lives of our farmers, who dedicate their heart and soul to caring for their chickens.

Nasimah starts her day with a simple yet crucial task. She hangs greens around the coops, a practice that is about more than just feeding. It’s her way of giving the chicks a boost of natural nutrients, ensuring they grow healthy and strong. Their alternative food sources include greens such as banana leaves, cassava leaves, and ketum ayam leaves.

A person in a blue shirt stands inside a poultry enclosure, observing chickens feeding. Green leaves hang from a yellow feeding pipe, with water containers on the ground. This scene captures the essence of Chicken Farming and the beginning of Nesting New Dreams with GPF Malaysia.

“Their alternative food sources include greens such as banana leaves, cassava leaves, and ketum ayam leaves.” -Nasimah

In another part of the farm, Mamak Ali is busy with his daily routine. He has a green thumb and a plot full of fresh greens, which he gathers every day for the chicks.

This isn’t just feed – it’s a fresh, natural diet straight from his garden, giving the chicks the best of what nature offers.

“I’ll split the banana trunk in half and use the fresh inner part,” explained Mamak Ali. “I’ll chop it into smaller pieces and mix it into their feed pellets.”

Then there’s Mamak Lipak, for whom a clean home for the chicks is the top priority. He regularly changes the wood remnants in the coops, keeping the space dry and comfortable. With the help of his family – they meticulously clean the food and water pellets every day. It’s all about creating a clean, healthy environment for the chicks to thrive.

“I feed them twice a day, at about 7 AM and 4 PM,” said Mamak Lipak proudly. “I also regularly replace the wood remnants in their coop whenever I notice they are getting wet.”

Two men standing outdoors; one is smiling and wearing a Monster Energy shirt, the other is speaking into a microphone. Both are wearing leaf hats. A screen featuring text about GPF Malaysia's initiatives in rural communities is visible in the background.As evening approaches, Mamak Amran steps in with his own unique practice. He lights mosquito coils around the coops to keep the chicks safe from mosquito bites, a small but significant act that shows his deep care and concern for their well-being. He said, “This is my first time raising chickens, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it—seeing them run around brings me joy. Just like humans, they need plenty of food and water to thrive.”

These aren’t just tasks – they’re acts of love and dedication from our farmers!

Since 2022, more than 65 farmers have constructed chicken coops and started on the chicken farming journey. To date, we have collaborated in marketing our chickens, receiving encouraging support from the community. Moving forward, our goal is to further strengthen our farmers’ expertise in both chicken rearing and marketing, ensuring they are well-equipped for sustained success. From the ground up, one coop at a time!

Building resilient communities, one village at a time.

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