Durian firm to offer improved terms to Raub durian farmers

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Sep 2020

KUANTAN: Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd (RPDR-PKPP) has decided to further improve the terms of its proposed legalisation scheme through on-going discussions with durian farmers in Raub.

The company said the year 2020 one-time payment of RM6,000 per acre would now be structured in flexible instalments and proportions such as 20% by Nov 15, 40% by March 15, 2021 and 40% by June 15, 2021.

"In addition, farmers are at liberty to trade freely on their own until May 31, 2021. RPDR-PKPP will endeavour to improve the terms in order to create a mutually beneficial scheme for all parties concerned.

"These improved terms will also be applicable to those farmers already registered with RPDR-PKPP. We remain open and encourage farmers that have yet to be registered with RPDR-PKPP to seek clarification and come forward to exchange information with RPDR-PKPP," said the company in a statement on Friday (Sept 25).

In relation to that, RPDR-PKPP claimed to have recorded an increase in registrations for the legalisation scheme following continuous engagement with durian farmers.

"Within this week, an additional 26 farmers expressed their interest in the legalisation scheme and decided to register themselves, further demonstrating the farmers' increasing willingness to mutually work with RPDR-PKPP in resolving the issue of illegal farming in Raub through a mutually win-win formula," the company said.

RPDR-PKPP also said it had fulfilled its earnest sum payment obligation to Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Pahang which was due in September, reflecting the company's strong financial capability.

On another matter, the company said that allegations of a purported monopoly of the Malaysian and Raub durian industry were baseless.

"In fact, based on the official Fruit Crop Statistics 2018 of the Agriculture Department, the entire harvested acreage for durian farms in Peninsular Malaysia amounted to 39,959 hectares.

"In Pahang, total farm size amounted to 11,042.27 hectares whereby durian planting farms in the district of Raub stood at 8,574 hectares," it said.

The company said it would maintain its commitment to allocate no less than 30% of total tonnage produced in the illegal farms back to the farmers, local collectors, traders and local durian processing plants.

Meanwhile, the Raub Musang King Farmers' Cooperative Preparatory Committee proposed an equal partnership with the state government which would be conditional on appreciating the hard work of the farmers.

The farmers also proposed a lease agreement with the state government with a lease term of 30 plus 30 years to sustainably develop the durian industry together and to strengthen the position of Raub and the state as the leading producer of Musang King durian in the world.

"With a land lease from the state government, durian farmers will be able to apply for Malaysian Good Agricultural Practice at their own expense," it said.

The committee also pointed out that the Sungai Chalit RPS land was created via the Security Relocation Scheme initiated by the Agriculture Industrial Development Board in 1978 with 128 participants who were now also subjected to the land acquisition map by RPDR-PKPP.

"The cooperative steering committee is of the opinion that the Sungai Chalit RPS land should not be involved in any proposal or acquisition scheme by any company or corporation because the residents should be given a land of two to eight acres per family as promised by the state government at the beginning of the plan," said the committee.

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