Iris Corp. of Malaysia is in discussions with the government of Swaziland to build affordable housing in Africa with an agricultural component designed to provide supplemental income to villagers, according to a report by the Malaysian National News Agency at bernama.com.
Datuk Tan Say Jim, Iris Managing Director, said the company was ready to invest and build a factory in Swaziland if there was an opportunity to build at least 3,000 homes there and other parts of Africa. Housing is one of the most important issues in some areas, the report said.
Iris is a global provider of solutions for digital identity, business, farming and the environment.
King Mswati III, head of state of the Kingdom of Swaziland, toured the Iris Koto industrialized building system in Malaysia this week and spent more than an hour visiting Iris’s high-tech integrated farming on the rooftop of the building, the report said.
Mswati learned about the company’s operation including its microchip technology.
“His Majesty went up to the rooftop and saw how we grow paddy, fruits and vegetables using good agriculture practices as well as fish farming,” Tan told reporters.
The king was interested in the project, Tan said, because Swaziland is a small country with limited space and land, landlocked to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique.
Tan said the king was interested in Iris’s Koto industrialized building system, which can build homes fast that are safe, green and energy-efficient.
Tan cited Malaysia’s Rimbunan Kaseh project as a model community of 100 affordable homes with a creative, closed-loop agricultural system designed to provide food and supplementary income for villagers in Pahang, according to bernama.com.
Swaziland has a diversified economy that includes agriculture, forestry, mining, manufacturing of textiles and sugar-related processing as well as services,the report says.