Tag Archives: Tambun Pomelo

Cheers for Tambun’s Pomelo Growers

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The long, long wait of the pomelo growers in Tambun for land will soon end with a cheerful note. The Land Office will distribute the land grants to them early next month.

 

Husny with the Tambun Farmers Association

The move will ensure the survival of the locally grown pomelo, which has become synonymous with Ipoh for decades. The growers, cultivating the land on Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL), have been facing an uncertain future for years as they have no control over the land.

In fact, many growers had been forced to vacate their orchards to make way for other projects, including the North-South Expressway. Recently, one of the last patches of orchards was under threat of being taken over for housing development but the state government had wisely revoked the order and promised to allocate the land to the growers.

DS Husny on the microphone. On his right is Chow San (Association Chairman) and Pan (Association Adviser)

The good news was announced by MP for Tambun Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husny Hanadziah, who has been working behind the scene to achieve this, during a Chinese New Year luncheon organised by the Persekutuan Pekebun-Pekebun Tambun recently.

Ahmad Husny said the Land Office was completing the preparation of the grants and the official handover “should be around 5 or 6 March.” Seventy-seven owners covering a total area of 107 acres will receive their 99-year lease grants.

He also announced plans to package Limau Tambun together with promotion tours to Banjaran Hot Springs and Lost World of Tambun as “a prime tourist destination”. He specified that the area “from Tambun going towards Ampang would be upgraded, on both sides of the road, with fencing, parking facilities and toilets to accommodate tourists.”

The Association’s adviser Pan Kam Sing said that the growers were eagerly awaiting the grants saying they “had been applying for the grant since the 70s”.

Known commonly as ‘Limau Bali’, pomelo has been grown around Tambun and neighbouring Ampang for over two generations. Due to the quality of the fruit it has become well-known throughout the country and abroad.

The soils of the orchards, which are surrounded by limestone hills, are rich in minerals such as calcium for the tree to thrive and produce the best of the fruits.

JAG

Survival of Ipoh’s Iconic Tambun Pomelo Assured

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Thinking Aloud

By Jerry Francis

Survival of Ipoh’s Iconic Tambun Pomelo Assured

Tambun Pomelo

The Perak Government decision to grant a 99-year-lease to the pomelo orchards in Tambun is a logical move to ensure the survival of the locally grown pomelo, which has become synonymous with Ipoh.

The growers, cultivating the land on Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL), have been facing an uncertain future for years as they had no control over the land and many growers had been forced to vacate their orchards to make way for other projects, including the North-South Expressway. Recently, one of the last patches of orchards was under threat of being taken over for housing development. But, the state government had wisely revoked the order and prevented about 300 growers from being stripped of their orchards.

Zambry’s Good Move

Thus, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir had with the stroke of his pen prevented a successful fruit farming industry in the Kinta Valley from dying and at the same time fulfilling the wishes of the growers who had been lobbying for land of their orchards in the past two decades. He had also corrected a “mistake” made by the state government some years back to allocate the land uniquely suitable for pomelo cultivation to housing development.

Man behind the scenes

The announcement was therefore greeted with cheers from the growers at a gathering in Tambun recently. What more, they are also exempted from back payment of the land premiums. And the man, who had been working behind the scene to achieve this, is the Member of Parliament for Tambun Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadziah, who is also the Finance Minister 2. He had been meeting the growers to hear their plights and complaints over the years.

Generations of growers

Pomelo or known commonly as ‘Limau Bali’ has been grown around Tambun and neighbouring Ampang for over two generations. Due to the quality of the fruit it has become well-known throughout the country and abroad. Initially 62 growers with a total of 285 hectares of orchards will benefit from this gesture by the state government and will receive their land titles within three months, while others will get their land titles once the details of those eligible are finalised. The condition imposed on them is that they must use 80 per cent of the land for pomelo orchards.

Mineral rich soil of Tambun

Ipoh pomeloes have always been a perfect “Buah Tangan” (gift) to bring when visiting relatives or friends out of town. It is so because the city has been synonymous with this citrus fruit for generations. Those grown in the iron-ore soil of Tambun and Ampang just outside the city centre are reputed to be the best in the country. The soil of the orchards, which are surrounded by limestone hills, are also rich in minerals such as calcium for the tree to thrive and produce the best of the fruits.

Acreage Decimated by Housing Development

These facts are well known, yet the state government had in the last number of years allocated the land for housing projects. The growers, who had toiled the land for so long, were ordered to move out. As a result, the once striving pomelo growing industry which supported thousands of growers, their workers and families, began to dwindle. And, so the area of pomelo orchards in Tambun and Ampang had reduced from 12,000ha in the 1980s to just over 140ha now. The construction of the north-south highway in 1992 alone resulted in the felling of about 1,600 trees belonging to some 35 growers.

Unfathomable Logic

It is hard to understand the logic behind the move by a previous state government when there is ample land for housing and industrial projects such as former mining land around the city. However land suitable for pomelo cultivation, so rich in minerals, is scarce.

The state government has, instead of protecting a striving pomelo industry that has brought fame to the city, given priority to housing in the area.  Is it because the interests of some well-connected housing developers were being given preference over the welfare of pomelo growers? These are the grievances of the pomelo growers.

The orchards in Tambun and Ampang also hold tremendous potential for tourism as every week busloads of foreign tourists visit them. It has also come under the state’s tourism guideline of “one district, one product.”

Reprieve and Relief

Long time grower Mr Chow Sun, 74, who is also the chairman of the Tambun Pomelo Farmers Association, described the move by the state government as “a long wait that finally bore fruit.”

“I’ve been growing pomeloes since my father’s time which is over 80 years ago. For close to 30 years we have been asking for the land and now we have finally been granted our request”, he said.