Sat, 06/08/2011 – Jude Fanton
Here in Ranau, a small administrative town at 1200 metres altitude in Sabah, Malaysia, unsuspecting, small-time market gardeners buy seeds and pesticides in shop like this.
Even though the highlands of Borneo are a few degrees from the equator, their very fertile soils, cool nights and warm days means market gardeners can grow temperate vegetables that would not grow in the lowlands nearby. These are exported to consumers in mega cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur. Growers typically have small hothouses to protect their crops from the monsoons but must use biocides to produce a yield.