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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

02/11/2004

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Bernama

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Felda To Develop 20,000 Hectares Idle Land In Sche
KUALA TERENGGANU, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- Felda will develop about 20,000hectares of marginal land in its schemes which is unsuitable for oil palmand has been left idle for years.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Yusof Noor, said some of the areas were locatedin swamps and deep valleys.

They would now be considered for cultivation of herbs and cash crops andperhaps livestock production, he told reporters at a breaking of fastgathering with members of the Terengganu Journalists Club and Feldacommunity leaders here Saturday.

"The land had been left idle since Felda began opening its schemes for oilpalm planting.

"We propose to start developing the land next year as a new source ofrevenue for Felda and to provide more returns to the settlers," he said.

He said the largest area of Felda idle land, totalling about 5,000hectares, was in Terengganu.

Mohd Yusof also advised former Felda settlers, who opted to manage theirfarms including replanting on their own, to rejoin the Felda schemes toensure their income would be protected.

He said about 8,000 out of the 120,000 settlers chose to go on their ownor had allowed their farms to be managed by others with the thought ofearning more that way.

"However, that did not happen because replanting is not something easy tohandle on your own and doing it on a 10-hectare plot is uneconomical.

"Felda is able to achieve savings in costs because it enjoys economy ofscale and is thus able to provide a good income to its settlers," he said.

-- BERNAMA