II. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
The main objectives of the Ministry is the establishment of a policy on the management and development of land, surveying and mapping systems and a quality cooperative movement. The main responsibilities of the Ministry are: land surveying, mapping, cooperative development, land management policy and land development
FELDA, which was established on 1 July 1956 under the Land Development Ordinance, is governed by a board responsible to the Minister of Land and Cooperative Development. The original FELDA objective was to develop forest land for agriculture and resettlement of the rural poor. Since the final intake of settlers in 1989, its objective has shifted towards a corporatization strategy for improving the quality of life among the settlers through dedicated and efficient management, and the development of a competitive industry through increased productivity.
The management of FELDA is structured along functional lines, i.e., smallholdings, plantations and manufacturing. In the past, the smallholdings were dependent on government funding in the form of grants and loans. However, it is now working towards financial independence in line with the Smallholdings Division, which administers the agricultural, social and economic activities of the settlers' smallholdings, and the Plantation Division, which operates under a limited company, FELDA Plantations Sdn Bhd. Its primary function is to manage 217 plantations comprising 363,583 ha as commercial estates. The Manufacturing Division comprises 12 corporations and 10 companies. Their operations, both upstream and downstream activities, add value to agricultural produce. Most of the FELDA factories are located in Malaysia, but FELDA has also established ventures in China, Egypt and Pakistan.
The Agricultural Services Corporation of FELDA, established in 1978, is responsible for agricultural research, the supply of planting materials, and the provision of technical and advisory services to FELDA and other agencies requiring assistance. The activities of the Agricultural Services Corporation include research into the breeding of clones, the agronomic aspects in terms of fertilizer use and research into pest and disease controls.
The research and advisory services of FELDA focus mainly on the settlers,
the process of transferring technology and development through several
means: research bulletins, settler-research contacts, and seminars and
conferences. Supplying new hybrids and clones to settlers and other agencies
is usually free or for a nominal fee. Relevant units of FELDA are also
responsible for providing information on processing technologies and marketing