IPOH: Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik has called on the Federal Government to consolidate farmland to help smallholders thrive and better develop rural areas in the long run.
He said there were many abandoned and idle farms in the country as farmers did not find found cultivating small plots of land lucrative compared to 30 years ago.
Through consolidation, farmers would have bigger plots of land to cultivate crops and get higher yields, he said.
In the early days, a 1.5ha land was enough for a household but today, that's not enough.
The solution is consolidation to ensure farmers get bigger land to cultivate and increase their income.
With modern equipment, farmers have the capability to work on larger plots of land, he added.
Dr Lim said to cultivate rubber, smallholders should have at least five hectares while oil palm farmers should have at least 10ha.
He said smallholders could also cultivate other types of crops alongside rubber and oil palm.
Unlike Felda farmers, he said many smallholders lacked the ability and the expertise to monitor their crops
This phenomenon is no fault of the Government. We hope the new leadership (taking over) in November would look into this, he told reporters after opening the new Ipoh Timur Gerakan premises in Kampung Simee on Sunday.
Dr Lim also said the children of farmers would be attracted to carry on their parents' work if farming becomes profitable.
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