MEKAR Program income level

Among the mushrooms grown by Nazariah.

BALING – The People’s Basic Economy Development Program (MEKAR) successfully increased the income of nearly 1,000 B40 participants from rural areas in Kedah in 2021.

Yayasan PETRONAS Chief Executive Officer, Shariah Nelly Francis said, in collaboration with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) to implement the Yayasan PETRONAS empowerNCER Program which is one of the initiatives under the MEKAR program to provide skills and entrepreneurship training.



“Since 2019, Yayasan PETRONAS has been actively running various programs aimed at eradicating poverty and reducing the unemployment rate. This program has directly supported the aspirations of Yayasan PETRONAS to empower income generation and financial sustainability of the B40 group in this country,” he said.

According to him, the PETRONAS Foundation has also sponsored 1,400 participants in the second group, namely 1,000 participants in Kedah and 400 participants in Perak for the year 2022-2023.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of NCIA, Mohamad Haris Kader Sultan said, the objective of the empowerNCER program is to improve the skills and socioeconomics of the local community in an effort to empower their income and prevent future poverty.



“Participants are given exposure to learn new skills that allow them to become entrepreneurs and generate income thus changing the socioeconomic level of their families,” he said.

Knowledge of digital marketing

One of the participants, Nazariah Saad, 49, said that a lot of knowledge was gained from the training, including from the point of view of strengthening business management, finance, digital marketing as well as advice and guidance.

“After following this training, I am more enthusiastic to expand the business such as expanding the workshop with the goal of being able to meet the high demand of the market.

Nazariah shows the mushrooms that are produced and also used for his latest product pickled mushrooms.

Nazariah shows the mushrooms that are produced and also used for his latest product pickled mushrooms.

“I have also managed to attract more women, especially housewives, B40 and rural communities to cultivate mushroom crops,” he added.

According to Nazariah, the effect of using digital marketing learned, more individuals are interested in cultivating mushrooms including from Perak, Penang and Kedah.

He is now able to accommodate a production capacity of 40 kilograms per day but still needs a lot of supply considering the high demand reaches 100 kilograms per day, especially from vegetable traders, restaurant operators and food stalls.

In order to ensure that mushrooms are used in a variety of ways, Nazariah produces the latest product which is pickled mushrooms which is now receiving about 500 packs a month.

He said, several plans are being drawn up, including producing burgers, nuggets and mushroom-based curry paste, which is expected to receive an overwhelming response.

Until now, Nazariah, who started growing mushrooms since 2016 with an income of RM2,000 a month, has managed to increase his income to RM10,000 a month.

Nur Zaffan shows the Crying Chicken Pandan Rice sold at his stall in Baling, Kedah.

Nur Zaffan shows the Crying Chicken Pandan Rice sold at his stall in Baling, Kedah.

Crying Chicken Pandan Rice dealer, Nur Mohd Zaffan Mohd, 27, from Kampung Landak, Kupang, described the idea of ​​opening a stall during the Covid-19 pandemic actually bringing new light to his family.

The eldest of six siblings was helped by her mother, Zaidah Husain, 49, who is a recipient of Kasih Ibu Darul Aman (KIDA) aid to start a rice business after being given a site at Jalan Batu 42, Baling, instead of only taking food orders from home.

“Previously we traded various types of watches at the night market but due to the pandemic, business declined. As a result of guidance and instruction from the PETRONAS empowerNCER Foundation Program, we dared to sell pandan rice. Alhamdulillah the net income before was only RM500 a month now it has increased to RM2,500 a month,” he explained.

According to Nur Mohd Zaffan, in a day he can sell about 100 packs of pandan rice priced at RM6 where the total sales reach RM8,000 a month.

Give birth to competitive participants



In the meantime, PETRONAS Central and Northern Region Senior Manager, Zukifli Othman, said, in line with the aspirations supported by the PETRONAS Foundation, his side always supports and closely follows the activities carried out by the PETRONAS empowerNCER Foundation to ensure that this effort can be fully successful.

“Encouragement was also received from the state government to continue this program in line with the target so that the participants are always competitive,” he said.

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