Small-scale farmers illegally occupying state land urged to come forward, be legalised

IPOH: Small-scale farmers illegally occupying land belonging to the Perak State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC) are encouraged to come forward to get a chance to be legalised, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

The Perak Mentri Besar said a total of 1,393.04ha of land involving over 300 farmers in the state had been legalised as part of the SADC’s amnesty programme.

“There is still a total of 3,494.7ha of the land that is occupied by such farmers who have yet to be legalised, mainly in Tapah and Kampar, ” said Faizal.

He added that the farmers need not worry that their land would be taken away from them when they come to meet the relevant officers.

“Those who have been legalised only need to fork out between RM1,500 and RM2,000 per hectare yearly, ” he told a press conference after a meeting with SADC top officials in his capacity as the chairman on Tuesday (June 30).

However, Faizal said the offer was not valid for corporate farmers occupying state government land, as they would be dealt with according to legal procedures.

He said the state government wanted a win-win situation for small-time farmers.

“We are still uncertain out of the 3,494.7ha land, how many farmers are involved as it is not possible for our officers to be stationed in such locations to look for the owners.

“We also do not want to enter these places to cut down their plants, and sometimes workers are the ones carrying out farming, and they cannot make decisions, ” he added.

As such, Faizal said the state government hoped the farmers themselves would come forward to be legalised.

“We are aware that the majority of such farmers are farming on a small-scale basis, and their livelihood depends on it, and that is why we want to help them, ” he added.

Faizal also announced that the SADC had recorded a 14% increase in revenue for the first four months of the year, compared to the same period last year.

He said the total revenue of RM108mil from January until April showed an increase of 14%, or RM12.9mil, aided by the strengthening of crude palm oil prices.

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