She started with 0.4 hectare plot of land and now wishes to expand.
A 20-year-old Kelantanese woman known as Siti Hajar Che Satar has proven that women can aspire to have successful careers in farming. She proved this by successfully cultivating her own paddy field in Kampung Lepah since she was 18.
Her dream is to become the best female farmer in Kelantan someday.
According to Siti Hajar, she was involved in farming works since her childhood as her father, Che Satar Nor, 63, was also a farmer.
However, she decided to take farming as a career path once she completed her SPM two years ago.
As usual, her father did not agree with her decision and wanted his daughter to continue her studies. However, Siti Hajar managed to convince her father when she first cultivated the paddy field in 0.4 hectare plot of land and managed to get RM4,000 out of it.
Siti Hajar is the youngest among eight siblings in her family. Other than her dad, her two brothers have also helped her to improve her knowledge in farming by helping her learn how to operate tractors and drone.
According to Bernama, Siti Hajar said that farming is not easy as it needs a lot of mental and physical strength. However, she is determined that with her commitment, she will be able to handle the various challenges in the field.
She also added that farming has many career prospects because food is always in demand anywhere.
“Who knows, one day I might cultivate a bigger rice field, have many workers and a paddy factory together with my own rice brand,” she added.
Siti Hajar is not the only Malaysian who chose a different career path to escape the rat race and succeeded.
Here are some of our fellow Malaysians who ventured on the road less travelled.
Jeannette Goon and Faezrah Rizalman have successfully created an app which connects the farmers in Sabah and restaurants in cities like Kuala Lumpur.
This was done to help the farmers who are still undervalued.
In order to help the women sell their products directly to consumers at prices higher than those they currently receive, Goon and Faezrah created a digital platform.
“The women have their own recipes and their own ingredients that you won’t be able to find outside Sabah,” said Goon in an article published by APEC.
This is a wonderful idea as restaurant owners and other company owners in Kuala Lumpur are eager to obtain premium ingredients, many of which are cultivated exclusively in Sabah and have distinctive flavours.
The Sabah-based Goon and Rizalman team won the 2019 APEC Digital Prosperity Award for the Bayu Harvest app they created.
After 3 years of being a patternmaker and 7 years of being designer, Johorean Saw Shy Yng decided to start her own business known as the Shyshy Project where she creates art of pets such as dogs and cats using wool.
She stumbled on this handicraft when she was working as a patternmaker in a rural place in Taiwan after graduating as a fashion designer at a Taiwanese University.
“I was working in a very rural place and there was no entertainment after getting off work, so I started to search for various handicrafts on the Internet for entertainment,” she stated as reported by Vulcan Post.
Soon after recognising that the brand could support all of her living expenses and activities, she launched it in 2018. The business began as a way for her to practise her craft. She was so delighted when it received favourable feedback from clients.
She compared the entire process to painting, but with wool and a needle as her instruments instead of paint. The craft needs a lot of mindfulness, patience, and colour-matching abilities.
Saw said that she hadn’t really done much preliminary research into the industry when questioned about the market in Malaysia for wool felt artworks. However, it was stated in the report that there is a sizeable local demand for it.
Despite the triple-digit pricing, people are still prepared to pay for her work.
A majority of Saw’s works are custom-made and normally require a one-month wait. One pet photo can be finished in two to seven days.
Shyshy Project also produces natural dyes to bolster sales of its wool felt products.
Starting a business from scratch is hard enough and Carmen, founder of Rebarre, did this while she was pregnant and after quitting her job in London.
Rebarre is a fitness studio that teaches people the barre workout. It is a workout that combines techniques and motions from ballet, yoga, and pilates and is possibly most known for using a bar. Stretching and low-impact strength training exercises are frequently performed to music to increase coordination.
Carmen spent 15 years training as a ballet dancer and has always had a passion for movement, fitness, and dance.
Later in adulthood, due to her propensity for dancing, she discovered pilates and barre. She ultimately received both qualifications.
“Since I was young, there has always been a spark within me that one day I would pursue a career in fitness and allow myself to embrace, live, and share the passion I strongly believed in,” she stated as reported by Vulcan Post.
Carmen found barre while she was pursuing her studies in London. She studied economics and received an honours degree. She is also a graduate of the Imperial College Business School with a degree in science (management).
Carmen believes that the appeal of barre is that it enables everyone to benefit from dancer-like training without undergoing the arduous training that professional dancers perform.
These advantages include better posture, increased flexibility and mobility, increased mobility, and lengthening and toning of the muscles.
Carmen claims that while some Malaysians are aware of the barre concept and its advantages, a majority of people are still unaware of it. Therefore, raising awareness of barre has been and still is a major problem and goal for Rebarre.
Nevertheless, the studio has received excellent feedback. During its soft debut, every class was completely full.
“Given its accessibility, benefits, and fun nature, I believe many Malaysians will enjoy barre once they have the opportunity to try out the classes.” she stated.
Around 10 instructors make up the Rebarre staff, but there are already plans to grow.
Women are capable of a lot of things, and this is a fact that the world needs to understand. In fact, women are the backbone of this world. Thus, it is time that we appreciate them and allow them to fulfil their potential instead of discriminating against them.