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NewsAsia, 5 Jul 05
8 Pulau Ubin poultry farmers accept resettlement offer
By Lian Cheong/Joanne Leow
SINGAPORE : Only one of the nine licensed poultry farmers has chosen to remain on Pulau Ubin.
This comes after the government made a resettlement offer to those affected by the ban on rearing poultry on the offshore island last month. The ban was enforced to keep the avian flu at bay.
The prawn farm belongs to Madam Lim Ah Lok, and it is the reason her family is staying put on Pulau Ubin. Because of the threat of avian flu, the family had changed from farming poultry to farming prawns. They have invested some $1 million in their new trade and want to recoup their capital.
Other farmers, like 38-year-old Chew Lian Hoe's father are accepting the government's resettlement offer. But the family has mixed feelings about letting their now empty farm go after over 50 years. Mr Chew said he was happy now that his aged father need not have to work so hard to look after the farm. He said most of the farmers were giving up their farms because of old age and that their children do not want to take over their businesses.
Those who have agreed to be resettled are being given a $3,000 allowance per family to relocate in addition to ex-gratia compensation for their houses and farm structures. The government is giving them housing priority to ensure that they will have a place to stay on the mainland.
Licensed farmers who give up their licenses are also entitled to a cash grant of $26,000 to restart their lives on the mainland. - CNA/de
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