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Saturday November 5, 2011

Salcra: Windfall of RM100.9mil will be shared by more than 16,000 landowners

KUCHING: Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) will pay out its biggest ever dividends of nearly RM100.9mil this year to its participating landowners.

Salcra chairman Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said the windfall would be shared by 16,374 eligible landowners.

“This brings Salcra’s total cumulative dividend payout to more than RM506mil.

“Fifty per cent of this year’s dividends will be paid in January while the other 50% to be distributed in July,” he told reporters after chairing Salcra’s 87th board meeting at Wisma Salcra, Kota Samarahan near here yesterday.

The 2011 dividend payout is nearly 40% higher than RM73mil in 2010.

Salcra, like other plantation companies, is making good profits in view of the prevailing high crude palm oil (CPO) prices. However, the prices have pulled back to below RM3,000 per tonne in recent weeks.

Salcra has 18 oil palm estates, with total planted area of some 51,000ha, of which 40,900ha have matured.

The plantations are in the southern region, including Bau, Lundu, Serian, Saribas, Kalaka and Saratok districts.

Jabu, also Deputy Chief Minister and Modernisation of Agriculture Minister, said the amount of dividends landowners would receive would be based on, among others, the sizes of their landholdings and the production of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) in their respective estates.

He advised landowners to use the dividends they received wisely, including to invest in their children’s education.

Jabu said the state needed a big number of professionals and trained manpower to support its various development programmes, in particular the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

He said Salcra was regarded as one of the best state statutory bodies, which paid promptly both the state and Federal loans, and was self-sufficient in project financing,” he added.

Jabu said like other plantation companies in the state, Salcra was facing labour shortage, including some 640 fruit harvesters.

“Mobility of labour is a problem as not all of the workers we recruited stay on.”

He said the shortage of harvesters would delay the collection of FFBs which would affect the quality of the fruits and oil extraction.

Jabu said Salcra would explore various alternatives, including incentive packages, to attract plantation workers and keep them.

He added that Salcra, which now has a total workforce of 782, would have to recruit more to cope with its expansion and diversification activities.


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