Dalit, Inandung and Dalit Laut Estate

Dalit can be regarded as one of the success stories in terms of modern economic and social agricultural achievements in Sabah. The distribution of quarterly dividend payment, and income opportunities in Dalit is seen as the biggest achievement by SLDB and the State towards the rural poor.

Began in December 1997, Dalit (1 and 2) is located 42 km from Keningau town. The development of this area started in August 5th, 1997 with the opening of an early nursery plot followed by the first palm oil estate established in 1998. The total cultivated area is able to accommodate more than 300 participants from five villages in Dalit territory (Dalit Gana, Dalit Laut, Melosok, Punggol and Kelampun). Dalit 1 estate is entirely owned by the SLDB as it claims that this area is unencumbered State Land.

The agreement between participants in Dalit (1 and 2) with the SLDB was signed in 2005. Under the agreement, the Board would run and manage the land claimed under customary rights by the Murut (Tagal) community until 2025. Each participant would be given a 6 hectare plot which would be allocated to them only after the 15th year of cultivation carried out with the SLDB. The venture is based on a 60:40 profit-sharing model with community participants getting 60% of the net proceeds. It is expected that within the said period the SLDB will be able to get their investment back.

The participants in Dalit are given priority to work within the estate. This is to provide employment and income opportunities apart from providing real-time training and field experiences to the participants on an oil palm estate and in management.