An elderly farmer is struggling with a powerful clan for control of land he has occupied for nearly 40 years. Leung Kau, 70, claims he has lived peacefully in Ku Tong village near Sheung Shui since 1959, alongside the 10,000 square feet of land he farms. As the years passed, he and his family built a stone hut and a pig sty, lawyer Kenneth Chan, for Mr Leung, told the High Court yesterday. They planted vegetables and raised animals. But the land is not registered to the Leungs. It is registered to the Hau Hin Fat Neung clan and, in 1993, it decided to repossess it. The clan, or tong, took the farmer to the High Court to try to evict the family from the plot. The tong leader claims Mr Leung is a tenant on his clan's property. Lawyer George Chu, for the tong, said the farming family paid annual rent of 900 kilograms of wheat, worth about $1,500. There was no written documentation, and an oral agreement had been made, in keeping with New Territories customs. But Mr Leung and his wife say they have never paid rent. Under Hong Kong law, anyone occupying a site undisturbed for 20 years or more becomes the rightful owner. Mr Chu said Hau tong representatives met Mr Leung annually to collect the rent. But the farmer claims he has never met members of the Hau family. The Hau tong, descended from four brothers, is one of the five biggest clans in the New Territories. The case continues today before Deputy Judge Robin Peard.