HULU TERENGGANU, May 15; Felda's research and development unit formed toplan and implement social development programmes for more than 103,000settlers will start operations on June 1. Felda chairman Tan Sri Dr YusofNoor said the unit was an early step towards improving the performance ofthe land development authority, especially those related to socialdevelopment.
"This is part of our second 50 years development plan. Our objective is todraw an effective development plan for the settlers so that their overallwell being will be raised to a higher level.
"The unit will also formulate a mechanism to ensure that the income ofsettlers remain high even when the price of palm oil drops," he said.
He was speaking to reporters after launching the Vision Child gatheringorganised by the State Information Department and Terengganu Felda YouthCouncil at Felda Bukit Bading today.
He said the unit also known as Fardu, will be based at Felda headquartersin Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur and it would be headed by professionals.
Prior to the setting up of the unit, Felda's activities had focused on oilpalm research at the Tun Razak Research Centre.
Yusof said Felda was now 47 years old and the settlers would have to facenew challenges in the next phase of its development.
"The ultimate objective is to modernise the settlers through varioussocial and economic programmes. They should not be left out in themainstream of society," he added.
Yusof also said that Felda was planning to develop modern housing underits Felda Jaya programme and had identified 225 settlements nationwideunder the first phase of the project involving Pahang, Perak and NegriSembilan.
The Felda Jaya project would turn existing settlement into a modernsatelite township complete with commercial, manufacturing and educationalfacilities.
He said under the first phase a total of 100 bungalows would be built inMempaga in Pahang, Trolak (Perak) and Serting (Negri Sembilan) and theowners of these units would be chosen from among settlers who had showncommittment in their work.
"These bungalows would be show units to enable other settlers to see thatthey too could own such houses if they work hard," he added.