Farming on Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands has been gradually transforming from a farm land to tourist site. Unlike other place that abandon farming, Cameron Highlands successfully blend the 2 together as eco-tourism.
Instead of farming just for sales, now farmers could charge a premium to let tourist pluck your own strawberries.
It was a great place for city kids to get closer to nature. Many children have eaten fruits packed in the supermarket, but many have not seen the flowers or plants that produces such fruits.
We ate 10 packs of strawberries in one day. At the market, grade A (larger in size and ripe) strawberries were sold at RM5 per pack. Some sold 4 packs medium size strawberries + 2 small packs for RM10. A pack of medium size strawberries imported from Korean sold at RM10 per pack in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the commercial farms are located at Blue Valley. The major marketplace for tourists would be at Kea Farm next to the Equatorial Hotel.
The crops sold on the market was normally grade B as the better grade produces were normally for export (especially flowers).
The less ‘rosy’ crops could be found at various farms.
Some have worm eaten holes and some looked ‘perfect’ (perfectly covered with pesticide).
The best time to visit the farms would be early in the morning. Morning dews could still be seen on the crops.
Most of the crops were lush and green. The parsley seemed to be ready to be eaten on site.
Here was the dying purple colour Russell Sprout.
Most of the farmers who cultivated the harsh land on the steep slopes were Chinese. Nowadays, the farmers have expanded their work force with foreign workers to help out on the chores.
It takes lots of hard work and effort to produce good crops. Changing weather conditions and landslide are affecting the livelihood of the local farmers.
So most of the workers were no longer Malaysian.
The important thing is to enable Cameron Highlands continues to produce crops for domestic consumption. The locals also cultivated tourism as a major industry in Cameron Highlands, that could be great transformation (similar success have been seen in towns like Tanjung Sepat, Sekinchan).