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Naroden: 1.5 million ha subject to NCR

Affected areas not inclusive of ‘pemakai menoa’ or ‘pulau galau’

KUCHING: About 1.5 million hectares of land in Sarawak may be subject to native customary rights (NCR), the State Assembly was told.

Assistant Resource Planning Minister Datuk Naroden Majais said this was based on the records of the Land and Survey Department.

However, he said the 1.5mil hectares did not include “pemakai menoa” or “pulau galau” unless there was proof of NCR claims over such land.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Martin Ben (BN-Kedup) yesterday.

To another question from Martin, Naroden said four areas in Kedup had been surveyed by the department under its perimeter survey exercise.

“One of the areas, covering about 500ha, has been gazetted as native communal reserve for agriculture activities. The remaining three areas are in the process of being gazetted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Assistant Land Development Minister Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz said the government had come up with various plans and programmes to develop idle NCR land.

“It is the government’s objective to develop NCR land to add value to the landowners and state government through the cultivation of cash crops,” he told Johnical Rayong (BN-Engkilili).

The programmes include the development of large-scale plantations and mini-estates by state and Federal agencies such as Salcra, Felcra, Rubber Industry Smallholders
Development Authority (Risda), Agriculture Department and Sarawak Land Development Board; cultivation of oil palm through joint ventures with private sector investors; cultivation of oil palm and rubber under the agropolitan programme to be implemented by Felcra and Risda respectively; and oil palm new planting and replanting schemes for smallholders implemented by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board since 2011.

“NCR landowners can apply for assistance under these schemes,” Wahab said.

He also said over 62,000 hectares of NCR land had been planted with oil palm as of June 30 this year, while 40 NCR land projects covering some 180,000 hectares were in various stages of development.

(Source:  The Star, 24 November 2012)

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