| Agricultural Expansion and Pioneer Settlements in the Humid Tropics (1988) |
|12. A survey of government pioneer land settlement programmes in south-east Asia|
12.A survey of government pioneer land settlement programmes in south-east Asia
Objectives of land settlement programmes
Organization of land settlement agencies
Implementation concepts and practices
Intake of settlers
Tunku Shamsul Bahrin
Since the beginning of the twentieth century planners have toyed with the concept of industrialization as part of the development process in the various South-East Asian countries. Its slow introduction and adoption during the colonial period can be clearly understood and need not be belaboured here. Despite the improved rate of growth during the post-independence period, achievements in industrialization have remained modest. Whatever the reasons for this tardiness in industrial growth, the bulk of the South-East Asian population today is engaged in the agricultural sector and resides in the rural areas. Although attempts to increase the pace of industrialization have been intensified, planners continue to focus their work on the vast areas still covered by tropical rain forest. Development planners and advisers in the developing countries have seldom failed to notice the presence of large tracts of unalienated forest lands available for distribution. They have continued to be attracted by the prospect of opening such areas in their endeavour to solve the rural problem. In brief, the pioneer fringe has become a major attraction to governments in the developing world, including those in South-East Asia.
In South-East Asia, the process of developing land and resettling people in the frontier areas is known by different names in different countries. In the Philippines, it has been called resettlement, land colonization, and sometimes new settlements, whilst in Malaysia, the process is popularly known as land settlement or land development. In Indonesia, projects before the Second World War were known under the rubric of land colonization, since then, as transmigration schemes. In Thailand, the projects are known as co-operative land settlements or self-help settlements. It is, however, not the intention of this report to examine in detail all aspects of land settlement in the region. It will be possible to have a general under
standing of the whole process if we can highlight some of the issues connected with the policy formulation and project implementation of land settlements in the four ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. In particular, the discussion focuses on the following.
(i) Objectives of land settlement programmes
(ii) Organization of land settlement agencies
(iii) Implementation concepts and practices
(iv) Intake of settlers