KUALA LUMPUR: Felda schemes will be urbanised through integrated farming and agro-based enterprises a vision advocated by former Prime Minister the late Tun Abdul Razak, who founded the programme.
The task to achieve this is now assumed by his son Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Felda is not only in my mind but also close to my heart, said Najib, who is now in charge of the 1.25 million-hectare land scheme with over 100,000 settlers.
Najib said he still remembered that his father used to say Kita perlu bandarise Felda (We have to urbanise Felda schemes).
He said the agency would form a brainstorming committee, comprising Felda board members, academics, settlers representatives, elected representatives from constituencies which had such schemes and people from the industry, to generate new ideas.
The committee would come out with ways to modernise the settlers and the schemes by introducing new technologies and using research and development from relevant sectors, he said.
He added that social ills faced by youths in Felda schemes would be looked into.
The committee will be set up in a few weeks from now and there will be between 30 and 40 members, said Najib after visiting Felda headquarters in Jalan Semarak yesterday.
Najib said integrated farming and the introduction of biotechnology and value-added produce was necessary for the future of Felda schemes.
We also need to train and retrain settlers for the future, he said, adding that Felda would utilise its own funds for that.
On the proposal to list Felda on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Najib said the Government had yet to decide on the matter.
However, he noted that a detailed discussion would be held on the proposed listing and planned to modernise Felda schemes into integrated agro-based townships for second and third generation settlers.
Most of the first generation settlers were now in their 70s, the second generation were either working in the schemes or outside, while children made up the third generation, he said.
Felda chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor said RM10mil had been approved to set up a herbal township project, complete with a research facility, a college and university, housing schemes, hotels and recreational centres.
He added that herbs would be planted on a commercial basis in Jerantut, Pahang on 3,125ha land.
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