SETIU, Dec 5 — Some 140 hectares of idle land in Kampung Pak Kancil here will soon be turned into the first large-scale MD2 pineapple planting project in Terengganu.

Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the project was a collaboration between the state government, its subsidiary, Terengganu Agrotech Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (TADC) and a local investment company.

He said the project complemented the state government’s plan to turn Setiu district into Terengganu’s Food Production Centre and was a success of their idle land rehabilitation programme.

“We have high hopes that this project will succeed in making Setiu the main producing district of MD2 pineapples in Terengganu and for the villagers who are participants here, there are several benefits that they stand to gain.

“This includes being able to cultivate 0.8 hectares of land with MD2 pineapples, agricultural guidance by TADC, priority for agricultural financing and projected incomes of between RM5,000 and RM6,000 a month after their harvest,” he said when officiating the project here today.

The MD2 pineapple project is part of 87 activities planned for Terengganu State Agriculture Year 2021.

Meanwhile, state Agriculture, Food Industry, Plantation, Commodity and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim said eight villagers were selected as initial participants of the programme.

“In every agricultural development project, we do not want the villagers to just be coolies or labourers. That is why we allocate a special quota for them to also become agri-entrepreneurs so that they can learn something through the transfer of knowledge and technology from investment companies.

“According to the data we obtained, almost 70 per cent of Terengganu residents are involved in agriculture, livestock and fisheries but especially in Setiu, where more than 85 per cent of the population are involved in these three areas... that’s why we focus on so many projects here so that the district’s economy will also be developed just like other districts,” he said. — Bernama