Land scheme a win-win solution for illegal durian farmers

RPD chairman Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan at a land legalisation scheme meeting with PKPP CEO Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Yunus (middle) and Datuk Seri Wan Adnan Wan Mamat, a director of Perniagaan Anak-Anak Raub Sdn Bhd.

KUANTAN: The state government’s proposed land legalisation scheme will provide legitimacy and a win-win solution to all illegal farmers in the district of Raub, said the Royal Pahang Durian Group (RPD) and its partner State Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPP).

Under the scheme announced by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail last Thursday, the farmers involved will not be evicted but instead be allowed to continue to farm on the said land, subject to terms and conditions.

RPD and PKPP stressed that the farmers currently occupying these lands are doing so illegally. They have until Aug 9 to come forward and accept the proposal or face enforcement for their illegal occupation of the land.

On June 24, the state government awarded Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd (the SPV) the lease and land use rights for 5,357 acres (2,168 hectares) in the district of Raub for a period of 30 plus 30 years.

The tract of land has been illegally farmed by local farmers who cultivate mainly durian trees.

The proposed scheme essentially entails:

> Farmers who accept the scheme will be granted sub-leases or sub-land use rights to their existing farms at a 10 plus 10 plus 10 years tenure with subsequent extension of 30 years subject to approval by the state authorities.

> In return, the farmers must sell all their durians to the designated trading company Royal Pahang Durian Export Sdn Bhd (RPD Export) at pre-determined prices.

To illustrate, for the years 2021 and 2022, RPD Export will purchase among others Grade A Musang King at RM30/kg for the first 2,000kg/acre and pay the SPV a fixed “levy” on behalf of the farmers as consideration for their usage of the land.

Any excess (beyond 2,000kg/acre) quantities of Grade A Musang King will be purchased at RM40/kg.

If there is shortfall of Grade A Musang King fruits, Grade B Musang King will be accepted as substitute, at RM18/kg and any excess of Grade B Musang King at RM21/kg.

After 2022, RPD Export will purchase the Grade A Musang King at mutually agreed prices subject to yearly revisions within an agreed price range.

For this year only, the farmers can sell all their durians to anyone in the market but must pay a fixed lump sum of RM6,000 per acre to the SPV.

> With legitimate status, the farmers with the assistance of the SPV can obtain MyGAP certification for their farms, ensuring strict compliance with farming quality standards and good farming practices – which is a prerequisite for export.

To ensure orderliness and to complete the supply chain operations in these areas, RPD Export will appoint an associate company namely Perniagaan Anak-Anak Raub Sdn Bhd (PAR) to undertake durian collection, sorting and grading activities jointly with local collectors in Raub.

PAR, which includes local bumiputra entrepreneurs, is allowed to enter into a 50:50 joint venture with 10 selected large, local and experienced durian collectors to undertake the tasks subject to approval from RPD Export.

Interested local collectors must register their interest with PAR within 30 days from this announcement. Late submissions will not be entertained.

Locations for the collection centres will be identified and procured in collaboration with the Raub district council.

The Royal Pahang Durian Group, together with PKPP, are committed to train and develop more young local entrepreneurs (both bumiputra and non-bumiputra) in the durian trade through PAR.

Taking cognisance of the role played by existing local durian collectors, traders and processors in the durian supply chain, RPD Export intends to allocate up to 30% of the total collected whole fruits from these illegal farms to be sold to them.

Interested parties with the relevant experience must register with RPD Export for selection within 30 days of this announcement. Late submissions will not be entertained.

The Royal Pahang Durian Group is principally in the business of owning, operating and managing a 1,000-acre (404ha) durian plantation in the vicinity of Tras in Raub.

Todate, 25,000 trees have been planted in the area. When fully mature, the plantation can potentially yield up to 3,500 metric tonnes of fruits annually.

The group has firmed up plans to venture into the downstream business of trading and export of our famed Malaysian durians locally and abroad.

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