In Malaysia, two auditors saw the potential of the fig business and decided to leave their corporate jobs to plunge headlong into the world of cultivating figs for a living. Lawrence Yew developed a love for this luscious fruit ten years ago but didn’t pursue it as a business as he was involved in other set-ups. However, a window opened when fellow auditor and partner Cheah Zao Yan expressed an interest in the fig business too. That is why they set-up Figara11.
“The thing about fig trees is that they require a very specific amount of water and the Malaysian weather is either very sunny or very wet, therefore you need to have proper irrigation. Planting figs in a tropical country also means the trees are more prone to pests. Fig trees also grow very vigorously because of Malaysia’s sunny weather so that means we have to prune it frequently,” Yew told freemalaysiatoday.com.
The duo took their time scouring for fertile land and settled on an agricultural plot in Karak, Bentong with ample sunshine and water supply, both vital ingredients for fig trees to thrive. This included clearing the land, seeing to earthworks, building a solid support infrastructure and installing a rain-proof house for the trees.
At the moment, the pair have planted about 1,000 fig trees but have set their sights on harvesting fruit from 10,000 fig trees in the future. They are convinced that Malaysians should consume locally planted figs, as these are given the opportunity to ripen on the tree before harvesting.