Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today received a memorandum on issues pertaining to the community of farmers in Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
The memorandum, handed over by six key farmers' associations, contains 12 motions, among them regarding the temporary occupation licence (TOL), lack of manpower and increased input costs, as well as threats from foreigners working on illegal farms.
They also urged the government to establish a sustainable farming policy in Cameron Highlands in line with 'Industrial Revolution 4.0' for the agricultural sector.
The policy, they said, should emphasise the sustainable development of agriculture in the highlands.
Wan Azizah, during her speech at the event, promised to take note of the problems faced by smallholders who depended on income from their farms.
In recognising the highlands as a major contributor to the sustainability of the country's agricultural sector and food security, she said it was important to control the use of land to prevent it from becoming a hazardous situation.
At the same time, Wan Azizah hoped the Pahang State Government would work to resolve the land issues as soon as possible.
The associations involved at the meeting today were the Cameron Highlands Agricultural Entrepreneurs Association, Cameron Highlands Flower Traders Organisation, Cameron Highlands Vegetable Farmers' Organisation, Cameron Highlands Malay Vegetable Farmers' Association, Cameron Highlands Vegetable Transport Vehicle Owners' Association and Cameron Highlands Indian Smallholders Association.
Cameron Highlands Malay Vegetable Farmers' Association representative Syed Abd Rahman Syed Abd Rasid said although most of the issues highlighted were old ones, there were still some which needed to be improved such as the slow renewal process for the TOL licenses.
"If possible, we also ask the state government to review and grant some leeway in obtaining CFs (certificate of fitness to occupy a building) to agricultural workers," he said.
To date, there are more than 2,000 registered farmers in Cameron Highlands.