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New Smart Village Gives Hope to Poor Malaysians

Malaysia is home to some 29 million people, a huge majority of whom live well below the breadline on less than $15 a month. With around 76% of the world's poor living in rural areas, many have to give up their homes and head into the cities to find work.

Now, a new 'smart' village could bring hope and security to thousands, if not millions of poor. Dato Tan Say Jim, co-founder and managing director of IRIS Corporation, is the man behind the idea: a hihg-tech, educational training facility, or farm. The farm had a close-loop agricultural system designed to ensure a constant food supply and income for the villagers. Iris Corporations have invested in several sustainable villages so far providing jobs and decent accommodation for employees. Tan Say Jim claims he can build a village house in just 10 days, with all the mod cons, and has developed new ways of growing and fertilising plants. He uses fish to keep the plant water clean and produce fertiliser and the fish and plants can be sold later on at markets or into shops.

An average employee of the model villages can now earn around $500 per month instead of the meagre 15. The hope is that many more of these villages will pop up in the poorest rural areas providing a decent income and future for the rural populations. Already the Malaysian government had paid Iris to build 10 villages this year and with the introduction of free range chickens to the villages it is hoped they will continue to thrive.

These new villages are causing a wave of hope across the world as the new self-sufficient, sustainable and energy efficient villages could be rolled out across poverty-stricken rural areas, tackling the world's biggest issue.

To read more about the new villages visit: http://www.essentialgeneva.com/essentialliving/letters-from-elsewhere/91...