Landless farmers welcome payment update, new rules
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Landless farmers welcome payment update, new rules

The cabinet has agreed in principle on a proposal to relax regulations imposed on the management of state land offered to landless farmers for agricultural purposes only, in a bid to add more value to this type of land, deputy government spokesman Karom Polpornklang said yesterday.

A common limitation found hindering the further development of the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) land is the fact that this land couldn't change hands, unlike other types of land, he said.

As part of the preliminarily approved proposal, ownership of Alro land offered to one landless farmer who fails to repay his debts after using the land as collateral for bank loans will in future be allowed to be transferred to a different farmer who is eligible to receive Alro land and agrees to shoulder the unpaid debts, said Mr Karom.

After this proposal won preliminary approval by the cabinet on Tuesday, the Office of the National Land Policy Board (ONLPB) and other relevant offices will be mapping out details of this project, he said.

The core principle for managing Alro land must be maintained despite the proposed relaxation of Alro land regulations, he said.

As part of the cabinet-approved proposal, a number of amendments to laws and regulations will be next carried out also to allow Alro land to be utilised for additional purposes other than agriculture where deemed appropriate, Mr Karom added.

He said the clear proportion of using certain plots of Alro land for agricultural purposes to using them for other purposes will be decided on later, while the additional purposes of Alro land utilisation that will be allowed will vary from one zone to another.

This flexibility will benefit farmers holding Alro land ownership as the value of the land will increase, which means they will be able to seek a higher number of agricultural loans from a financial institution, the deputy spokesman added.

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