Illegal durian farmers seek to work with govt in developing industry

Durian farmers without permits in Raub are opposing a land legalisation scheme.

KUANTAN: The Save Musang King Alliance (Samka), a group formed by durian farmers who have no permits, plans to take out an injunction to stop any attempt to seize their farms.

Its chairman Wilson Chang said they had appointed lawyers and were ready to take the matter to court.

The Pahang government had announced that beginning today, all areas of illegal durian cultivation and other illegal crops in the vicinity of Kampung Sungai Ruan and Sungai Chalit, Raub would be seized by its enforcement unit.

This was part of a land legalisation scheme to resolve the large-scale illegal cultivation of durian in Raub.

The farmers were given option to participate and sell their durian to a designated trading company.

Samka said in a statement that the farmers had always been ready to cooperate with the state government to develop the durian industry.

The group said they were willing to pay a levy for occupying the land in the past as well as utilising the land in future.

“The farmers are also willing to pay a commission to the state government based on every kilogramme of their durian in order to help increase the government’s revenue as well as conserve the environment and water catchment areas, ” added the group.

The alliance is made up of about 800 farmers.

Samka said the contract offered to the farmers included a levy of RM6,000 per 0.4ha, which they said was too high.

“The current levy on durian farms imposed by Pahang government is about RM50 per 0.4ha, ” the group further said.

Apart from that, from 2021 to 2022, the private corporation will purchase Grade A Musang King at the fixed rate of RM30 per kilogramme from the farmers, which according to Samka, is significantly lower than the average market price.

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