Borneo Vanilla is the result from years of my hard work and my never-give-up attitude. I am from the small hamlet of Kinarut, Sabah, Malaysia. Kinarut is nestled between the rugged mountains of Borneo’s Crocker Range and the warm waters of the South China Sea. I started my vanilla farm in 2008 on a single acre, and I am now the only producer of vanilla in Borneo.
My journey to success started when I attended a training held by the local agriculture ministry in 2008. I believe that idle land should be productive and was motivated by the thought of producing a valuable and beautiful crop.
Even though every other person who attended the same training gave up after a few years, I persevered. The amount of work was more than I expected and there was very little support available where I live.
After all that hard work, I was thrilled when the vanilla plants started blooming 4 years later. I now have more than 2000 vanilla plants that have continued to thrive and bloom every year. My dream came true through my effort and work.
Vanilla is an orchid that only blooms one day in a year and even when it happens, they only bloom for a few hours making for a short window of opportunity for pollination.. Among the required effort are the daily checks on the flowers and the manual pollination since there are no suitable insects in Sabah that are able to do it.
Now I can stand tall and proud for showing that when you persevere and believe in something, anything is possible. This is further proven by the number of visitors that flock to my garden (I call it “My Kebun Vanilla”) and the multiple purchase orders from businesses in Sabah and abroad.
My Kebun Vanilla
However I’m not in this business just to make profits for myself. I want to help other interested local entrepreneurs and farmers too, especially those who have idle lands. I am eager to share my experiences with other local farmers and entrepreneurs to expand the business in Sabah and to help others. I want to share my knowledge of the production and marketing of vanilla.
I see no limits with this plant. Vanilla’s cured beans are highly sought after and are widely used in baking, perfume manufacturing and aromatherapy.
If you are (planning to come) in Sabah, please come visit My Kebun Vanilla. You can find us on Facebook or by calling us at +6012 8333 899.
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