KANOWIT: Sarawak can attract investments totalling RM4.5bil if 280,000ha of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land earmarked for commercial oil palm plantations are developed, said state Land Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing.
He said about 29,000ha had already been developed.
“The target is to develop one million hectares of NCR land by 2010,” he told reporters after launching the Bijak Pelita Lesih Plantation in Nanga Gremai here recently.
An Ipoh-based company, Putaran Bijak Sdn Bhd, is developing 7,000ha of NCR land for the plantation jointly with Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA).
A further 8,000ha in the area has also been allocated to the company for future development.
Masing said his ministry had received 71 applications from local investors to develop NCR land.
“We hope to expedite the processing of the applications to allow the selected investors to come in soon,” he said.
In Kanowit, where the pioneer oil palm plantation on NCR land was started in 1994 by Boustead Holding Bhd in a joint venture with LCDA, he said at least 41,000ha had been identified for oil palm which could attract RM650mil in investment.
Masing said that rural poverty could be wiped out if NCR land was gainfully developed. – Bernama
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