: Each and every Felda land scheme has the potential to be a ‘goldmine’, provided its settlers make full use of the opportunities given to ‘mine’ it for their own benefit, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
Agreeing with term used by Felda Chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to describe the economic potential these land schemes can offer, the prime minister urged settlers to ‘dig for the hidden treasures in these goldmines.’
“I want all of you to think about the treasure that you have. It is called Felda, and I agree that Felda is best described as a ‘gold mine’.
“This goldmine, however, would not bring about any benefit if we do not unearth the treasures it can offer,” he said when launching the national-level Felda Settlers’ Day 2020 celebration at the Felda Trolak Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) in Sungkai near here today.
In his maiden Settlers Day speech as prime minister, Muhyiddin called upon settlers to work together and toil Felda land for the thousands of potential opportunities it can provide.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said the Settlers Development Programme will be implemented at Felda settlements nationwide, which will involve some 31,000 settlers with a total government allocation of RM1 billion over four years.
He said this following the success of the programme’s pilot project in Felda Bukit Rokan, Negeri Sembilan in November last year, which he added showed encouraging achievement that benefited more than 300 settlers there.
Muhyiddin said by owning large tracts of agriculture land, Felda has great potential to be at the forefront of the country’s smart agriculture and food production sectors.
“I believe if this potential can be fully developed, Felda stands to be among the country’s main food producers and can help create a stable food supply system, besides being the main commodity producer in the country.
“I also would like to see Felda rise as a catalyst and a leader in the large scale food production industry by mobilising smart agriculture-based plantation and innovative downstream activities,” the prime minister said.
Besides this, Muhyiddin said throughout its 64-year history, Felda had attained numerous recognition, on the international stage even, and achieved many successes, including poverty eradication, boosting commodity production and raising standards of living in the rural areas.
However, in line with current changes, Felda needs to explore new fields capable of providing its communities much assured and better lives, the prime minister said.
Muhyiddin said among the programmes being implemented is the New Felda Model that will be primarily driven by the Settlers Development Programme to cultivate new products, consolidation of Felda cooperatives and the use of latest technologies for smart agriculture programmes.
“The aim of this new model is to help settlers supplement their income and not just be reliant on oil palm and rubber yield any longer, especially when taking into account uncertainties in the global commodity market.
In the event, Muhyiddin also presented four awards, namely for achievements in increasing oil palm and rubber production, Felda entrepreneur with the highest income and the most beautiful Felda village.