Nancy: Govt ‘agropolitan’ projects to spur rural economy

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PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri has expressed confidence that the government’s initiative to systematically develop “agropolitan” plantations in rural areas will help local communities in remote areas gain effective new economic opportunities.

The Batang Sadong MP said projects such as the “Ladang Sejahtera” oil palm estate development in the constituency would not only help raise people’s incomes above the poverty line but also provide a sustainable and planned commercial activity for them.

It would also spur the improvement of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water supply in the surrounding areas, she added.

“This project is an initiative by the federal government to eliminate rural poverty through increase in income, quality of life and continued efforts to catalyse development in outlying areas,” she said.

Nancy said this in her speech when officiating at a ceremony to present complimentary payments totalling RM31,326 to the 138 settlers of the “Ladang Sejahtera” plantation in Sarawak, organised by the Land Custody and Development Authority (Pelita) and the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority Bhd (Felcra).

“The Ladang Sejahtera project in Batang Sadong is a component of an agropolitan project managed by Felcra, with allocation from the rural and regional development ministry and coordinated by the Sarawak state government since 2006,” she said.

“The development concept also focusses on developing idle and remote lands for oil palm projects,” she added.

Nancy said Pelita’s commitment in monitoring the performance of the project together with the state authorities would help in uplifting the livelihood of the local agricultural participants.

She said the settlers would also be issued dividend payments from the plantation’s revenues from the oil palm yields next year.