The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Kedah state government to maintain grazing land in Kampung Kubang Palas near Kuala Nerang for the use of 200 livestock farmers in this village. The move is justified because the farmers involved are pioneers who have engaged in the livestock rearing activity for generations and are major contributors to the national economy and the supply of meat for the people in this state.
CAP sympathizes with the plight of the livestock farmers here. Their grazing land of 320 acres was leased to a plantation company for oil palm and rubber cultivation. This not only causes various problems, but would also take away the source of revenue for the livestock farmers. Where would the 1,500 head of livestock comprising of cattle, buffalo and goats belonging to the farmers in the village eat grass when the grazing land is leased to the plantation company? If this land-use conversion proceeds, the farmers involved will lose capital of more than RM4 million and an annual revenue between RM20,000 to RM60,000 per person.
CAP is of the view that livestock farmers in the village should be offered assistance to continue their activities. Besides the Kedah state government, CAP requests the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to resolve the problem faced by the livestock farmers. Support should be given to livestock farmers not only in this village but nationwide to meet the needs of fresh meat for consumers, control the dramatic price increase of local meat and prevent consumers from consuming imported meat of lesser quality.
CAP regrets that although the livestock farmers have been facing this predicament of eviction for some time now, but until now there has been neither respite nor action taken by the authorities to address the problem. Hence the farmers are worried thinking of their and their future generations fate if the livestock farming activities which were inherited will now cease due to lack of grazing land.
CAP hopes that the Kedah government and the ministry can fulfil the demands of the livestock farmers here so that the grazing land which was gazetted as reserve land in 1968 is maintained in the village. CAP will send a formal letter to the authorities to urge this issue to be addressed immediately. CAP believes that if this situation is allowed to continue, not only farmers in this village will experience a variety of problems and hardship, but also affect the country’s agricultural sector and supply of meat for consumers in the future.
Press release, 27 August 2015