Malaysia: biodegradable containers as "hope boxes"

Have you noticed the rows of tall teak trees standing majestically along the North-South Expressway? They actually stem from the pioneering work of Dr. Billy Tang Chee Seng, an agriculturist, who more than 30 years ago was tasked with planting these valuable timber species that also enhanced the aesthetics along the highway.

Dr. Billy started his PwD (People with Disabilities) Smart Farmability Centre in Subang Jaya as a social enterprise that evolved from a simple drawing at the rehab center. He decided to use his knowledge of regenerative agriculture to benefit thousands of PwD and the poor via his proprietary aquaponics and soil technology.

His innovation is a simple but dynamic biodegradable plastic container measuring 56cm x 38cm x 31cm, which he has transformed into an organic vegetable terrarium. Beneficiaries of these "hope boxes", which are the world's first, can harvest up to 2kg of watercress and Brazilian spinach monthly from one terrarium alone despite not being farming experts themselves. They just need to water the greens twice a week.

The longest regenerating terrarium has been regrowing fresh and nutritious vegetables for the past 33 months and counting. Almost 4,000 "My Carbon Farm" terrariums have been distributed to the needy. Through his "Scaling Up Nutrition" (SUN) Movement, Dr. Billy wants to expand this into a global activity to end malnutrition.

For starters, he wants to represent an estimated 4.8 million people with disabilities in Malaysia to champion his center's noble cause of feeding the planet.

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