KUCHING (Feb): The Sarawak Land Custody and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) will commence its latest oil palm plantation project worth RM121.4 million in Pakan in October this year.
The project involves 3,697 hectares of land and 211 participants form longhouses in the district, according to a Salcra infographic sighted by The Borneo Post today.
The participants are from Rumah Bujang Tutong in Ulu Tebok, Rumah Jantan Brun in Nanga Tebok, Rumah Sara Melayu in Nanga Dendang, Rumah Kadam Tajak in Sungai Buloh and Rumah Panggai Ujang in Dayat.
Prior to this, several dialogues between the longhouses, land owners and Salcra were held since March 2016.
The fund for the project, which is under the 12th Malaysia Plan, would be provided by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.
When contacted, Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said his constituency’s socio-economic transformation is gaining momentum with Salcra pursuing and facilitating its land development.
Land development involving oil palm plantations is always a part of Pakan master plan, he said.
Others in the masterplan include agriculture involving other cash crops, fruits, and jungle produce, he added.
“Salcra via the state Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is always committed with its mission, making sure both landowners and stakeholders benefitted from joint ventures.
“Land development under Salcra was always successful. There should be more development on native customary rights (NCR) land.
“Let Salcra develop the land rather than landowners waiting for capital, ending up leaving their land idle. Salcra has the expertise and start-up capital to begin joint-venture. Eventually, NCR land will be issued with titles,” he said.
As for the latest Salcra joint venture project, an approved allocation of RM10 million has to be spent this year alone, said Mawan, who is also advisor in the Office of Sarawak Premier overseeing food industry, commodity and regional development.
He said such plantations would normally bring forth access roads to be built here and there, thereby improving connectivity further in Pakan and surrounding districts.
Pakan’s transformation into an agro-based industrial constituency is on the card, Mawan said.
“NCR land which used to be idle before is now once and for all become the economic asset, generating income for the land owners in particular and people in Pakan as a whole,” he said.
Mawan is confident that Salcra would be welcomed by his constituents, and Salcra would be delighted to note that Pakan folks are very friendly and cooperative.
When releasing the findings of its MyCensus 2020 in September last year, the Department of Statistics Malaysia stated that Pakan is the friendliest district in Malaysia, Mawan pointed out.
He disclosed that he chaired two top-level meetings last week as part of the push for transformation.
The meeting with Salcra officials led by general manager Joseph Blandoi was held on Feb 6 and the meeting with representatives of implementing agencies and community leaders from Pakan on Feb 8.