Masters Theses


Teow Choo Ti

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

David W. Brown

Committee Members

Merton B. Badenhop, Ben R. McManus


The Federal Land Development Authority in Malaysia organizes, manages and finances new land settlements. The program of guided land settlement has been successful in bringing approximately 250,000 acres of hitherto uncultivated land under rubber and oil palm cultivation. However, the physical development of the land and the successful crea-tion of economical farm enterprises in the immediate future does not by itself assure that the settlers will be able to improve or at least maintain the planned level of living in the long run. There is a need to investigate and to project the long-term consequences of the present action program. The primary objective of the study was to determine by way of conceptual analysis the adequacy of the Malaysian settlement program in stimulating, establishing and maintaining self-sustained development in the new settlements so that living levels do not fall to subsistence levels in the long run. A subsidiary objective was to suggest alterna-tive courses of action in the light of experiences in other countries which might be applicable to the Malaysian land settlement program. The procedure followed involved identifying those decisions in the design of a land settlement program that might increase the possi-bility of self—sustained development. The Malaysian program was then examined in detail according to the framework of decisions identified to determine its compatibility with, and adequacy in the promotion of self-sustained development. In the study of relevant experiences in other developing countries, preliminary literature review pointed to Israel as the major source of successful land settlements in terms of self-sustained development and continuously improving living levels. The Israeli Moshav was studied in detail because of its similarity in ideology and operational rules to the Malaysian settlements and because of its apparent success. Relevant experiences in the Israeli Moshav supported by significant experiences in other developing countries were used to suggest modifications that might increase the possibility of self-sustained development in the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority settlement projects. Possibly, applicable programs in the immediate future were also proposed. The study revealed that the present settlement program of the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority is highly developed and efficient in the development of the land. However, a number of inade-quacies in promoting self-sustained development arise because the pro-gram emphasizes land development more than community development. The inadequacies are as follow: 1. There is lack of emphasis on diversified skills both agricul-tural and nonagricultural in the settler selection process. 2. Inadequate flexibility in resource allocation within the farm is a major problem. 3. The Federal Land Development Authority exercises an extremely paternalistic attitude in the decision-making process within the farm during the developmental stage. 4. There is an over-rigid financial arrangement. 5. Present planning and action to stimulate capital accumulation, investment and expansion of employment within the settlement by promoting diversified agriculture, rural industry and supporting services is inadequate. 6. One program model is applied to all settlements in West Malaysia, thus failing to exploit the diversity in skills, resource ownership and ideological inclinations of the settlers. Based on experiences in the Israeli Moshav and in specific land settlement projects in Sudan, Algeria, Nigeria, Tanzania, Thailand, and Ceylon, recommendations were made to redress the observed inade-quacies in the Malaysian program without excessive additional cost to the Federal Land Development Authority and the government. Two alternative settlement programs—the Graduated Land Allocation Model and the Collective Farming and Individual Consumption Model—were pro-posed. The Graduated Land Allocation Model involves allocation of land by stages according to the ability of the individual settler. The Collective Farming and Individual Consumption Model attempts to provide an alternative to the existing oil palm projects that would emphasize settler community development. Additional work needs to be done to determine the feasibility of these programs in Malaysian land settlement.

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