"This (SLDB's success in implementing the PMR project) is very impressive and beyond my expectation.
"I have full confidence that SLDB will succeed in bringing a whole new level of service and meaningful economic transformation to the rural poor," he said, after a briefing by Michael Philip, senior manager of a Projek Mesra Rakyat (PMR) (People Friendly Project).
About 40 years ago, a group of villagers applied for 2,275 hectares for agricultural purposes in Nabawan, a rural district.
However, the land was left idle because the group did not have the know-how to develop it themselves.
In 2011, the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB), a state government agency, brought the much-needed help to the rural people by introducing the PMR.
About 474 hectares of the total land area which was formerly covered with secondary jungle has now been developed into a scheme, 'Ladang Skim Nabawan' in which 289 locals, mostly from the Murut community, will participate.
The former state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister also visited the Pandewan Estate, another SLDB's PMR project which has an area of 2,178ha, of which 1,112.53 was planted with oil palm.