Landowners participating in new Native Customary Rights (NCR) land projects in the state now stand to benefit from two new incentives.

Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Gramong Juna said they would be paid a sum of RM150 for every hectare of land developed under the state NCR land development concept.

The incentive would begin from the first year onwards and would stop when the oil palm started to bear fruits and dividends were paid,” he told Bernama after performing a traditional Iban “Miring” (offering and thanksgiving) ceremony at Nanga Lesih near here Monday for the commencement of land preparation works for the IOI Pelita Kanowit Sdn Bhd oil palm project.

The IOI Group from the peninsula will begin developing about 7,000ha in the area (designated as Block E in the Kanowit Commercial Oil Palm Plantation Project area) for commercial oil palm plantation soon.

Its partners in the project are the state Land Custody Development Authority and landowners from 54 longhouses in the area.

Gramong said that besides this, the landowners would be given a certain percentage of the shares in the mill that would be built.

This would entitle them to more and faster dividends based on the current market price of the crude palm oil.

He said the incentives were the result of fine-tuning the state’s first commercial NCR land oil palm project launched here more than 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, Gramong, who is a member of the state taskforce on NCR land development, advised NCR landowners not to listen to instigators churning out wild stories to frustrate NCR land development.

The landowners would only lose their land if they chose to sell it, he said, adding that the NCR land development concept was just a strategy of the government to eradicate rural poverty.