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Pig Farmers to Close Shop by Year's End

by 5m Editor
11 November 2008, at 9:17am

MALAYSIA - The last of the Batu Maung pig farmers will close shop by the end of 2008.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said an agreement had been reached between Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and the Batu Maung Pig Farmers Association to compensate the affected farmers.

“Since the last 16 years, pig farmers in Batu Maung have been using an oxidation pond built by PDC to discharge their effluents.

“This oxidation plant stands on a 4.9ha piece of land belonging to PDC and the eight remaining pig farmers in the area had received notices informing them of a cease of operations at the plant as PDC intends to take back the land to expand Phase 4 of the Industrial Zone,“ Lim said during an agreement signing ceremony between both parties recently.

He said a ‘win-win’ situation had been reached after several meetings with the association and the farmers would be compensated an undisclosed amount that was endorsed by the state Veterinary Department.

Asked whether PDC had any plans on buying over the collective 1.6ha of surrounding land owned by the farmers, Lim said the investment company had yet to explore the issue.

On how the closing of the eight farms would affect market forces, State Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang, who headed negotiations with the association, said there would be minimal impact to the supply of pork as the farmers owned less than 3% of the state’s total livestock.

“The eight farmers collectively own 800 out of the state’s 30,000 pigs so we are sure there will not be any shortage in the market after they close shop,“ he said.

On another matter, Lim said that under [email protected] initiative, the government wanted to provide state-wide free wireless services in two years and make Penang the first wireless state in Malaysia.

“However, if it is found that these wireless services are harmful to health, the state government will stop and abandon this initiative,“ he said.

Malaysia's The Star reports that Lim also announced that Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi had been appointed to head a special task force overseeing telecommunication towers in the state to resolve any outstanding issues on the structures.