ROMPIN: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council’s (ECERDC) Rompin integrated pineapple plantation project has improved the living standards of the orang asli community here.
Single mother Murni Sifir, 26, said looking for work was once difficult in the area.
“I had to travel far to find work in Terengganu. With the setting up of the Rompin integrated pineapple plantation, it has opened up many new opportunities especially for people like me to have a stable income while being close to my family,” she said at a Ramadan donation presentation ceremony by the Sultan Ahmad Shah Environment Trust (SASET) in Muadzam Shah here recently.
Another participant, Aminah Sugai, 32, said the project had provided a steady income and enabled her to support her seven children.
In 2013, Rompin Integrated Pineapple Industries Sdn Bhd was appointed by ECERDC to conduct and manage Rompin integrated pineapple plantation, which had a total area of 485.6 ha.
Up to 101 ha of the pineapple clusters were allocated to the Koperasi Orang Asli Kampung Tanam Rompin Bhd to provide entrepreneurship and job opportunities for the orang asli community.
Pineapples produced under the brand name Rompine were also exported to China, Europe and the Middle East.
The project was aimed at promoting local pineapples and transforming the socio-economic development in the area.
During the event, Tengku Arif Temenggong Pahang Tengku Fahd Mua’adzam Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is the chief executive officer of SASET, presented donations to 150 orang asli from the district.
The event was also attended by Muadzam Shah assemblyman Datuk Seri Maznah Mazlan.
ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the human capital and social development of the orang asli would always be given attention by the council.
“That is why we are always working with organisations and the district offices to ensure our programmes bring about inclusive benefits to the people of the East Coast Economic Region regardless of race and religion,” he said.
Jebasingam added that they were proud to be working with SASET and Tengku Fahd Mua’adzam, a prince who was always concerned about the needs of the underprivileged, and to share Hari Raya Aidilfitri joy with the orang asli community.