Sunday, May 13, 2012

Encourage and help the growth of local farmers


Media Statement by M. Kula Segaran, MP for Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman at Batu Gajah, Perak on 12th May, 2012 

Encourage and help the growth of local farmers

Over 27 farmers who are involved in animal husbandry business were encouraged to relocate to an area at Mukim Terap, Batu Gajah over 3 years ago. The farmers were told the land belong to State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC). 

All these farmers are involved in animal husbandry business on full time basis and therefore have ample experience and exposure in this field. 

They were told by Veterinary Department officials of the Agriculture office that each participant would be given an average of 5 acres of land. Many of these farmers took loans, mortgaged their properties and even sold their houses to develop this area. 

Infrastructure works and the like were commonly built with the monies of the farmers. Many of the farmers spent over thousands of Ringgit to clear and build sheds and the like to rear cattles at the above said area. 

Why DRSB? 

Sometime in March 2012, the SADC officials told the farmers that Dagang Ritz Sdn Bhd (DRSB) has been given the exclusive right over all the 74.4hectares of land in this area.  Thus the farmers will have to rent from DRSB. The monthly rental amounts to an average of RM1000 and this is for a period of 3 years, namely from 1stJanuary11 to 31stDecember2013. 

These farmers have all relocated to this new place at Batu Gajah from various parts of Perak. They have built permanent infrastructure which cost thousands of Ringgit and to give a tenancy for 3 years is unreasonable and unfair. Animal Husbandry business takes many years before one can see profits. To give such a short tenancy is ridiculous. The farmers can’t even get bank loans to finance their businesses. 

The farmers are shocked by this new offer and arrangement. They want the following explanations:
1)      Who is this DRSB?
2)      Why should the farmers deal through them?
3)       Is the Perak SADC in the Ali Baba business?
 
To the best of every one’s knowledge,  DRSB has no expertise, knowhow and knowledge in animal husbandry businesses. Why SADC has to choose DRSB? SADC owes a detaiedl explanation to the farmers and the people of Perak. 

DRSB does not possess any track record for SADC to make them as the middle man.
The question everyone wants to know is why SADC itself can’t rent this place to the farmers directly?  

Policy of Federal Government overlooked 

It is a policy of the federal government to encourage the growth of animal husbandry business.
As set out above, the SADC,  an arm of the state Government is going against the policy by bleeding the farmers and making it difficult for the farmers to do their business.  

The Federal Government policy of saving billions of ringgit with the growth of local husbandry business will be  thwarted if the above unfriendly business terms are imposed on farmers. 

The above farmers receive no assistance financially from the State Government yet they are willing to do business independently. Best to encourage this form of business as it will spur the growth and prosperity of animal husbandry business. Why throw millions like on the National Feed Lot where RM250 million was given by the government with little or no returns for the Government and the people of Malaysia? 

Perak GLC need a new breather 

Last year in November, Mentri Besar Datuk Zambri openly stated that “Perak was to restructure all state GLC’s”.

On SADC, he had said, “SADC will be headed by a chief executive to carry out the restructuring under which SADC's operations will be divided into two sections – services and corporate affairs – each to be headed by a general manager” 

It is already over 6 months since the MB’s announcement. We do not see any new blood or changes in SADC. 

Many of the Perak GLC’s are not properly managed and are running at a loss. People of Perak want changes in the GLC’s so that they can be the catalyst in the development of Perak. When will these changes if at all they happen?

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