"Before this, whatever brand-new cars we wanted, we could buy them all. But now, we are poorer than even those whom we have helped," said Ms Wanpen, who asked not to be identified by her real name for security reasons.
Since violence in the South flared up again in January 2004, she and her brother and sisters have moved out of their homes in a rubber plantation in Bannang Sata district to live in the city of Yala where their lives are considered safer.
She has not set her foot in the rubber plantation since and now relies on a small share of income from some workers she hires to tap rubber milk and sell it on her behalf.
Ms Wanpen is among 46 landowners considered eligible to take part in the government's plan to spend about 1.2 billion baht to buy land from people who cannot make use of their property as a result of the violence.
Under this plan, landowners will be allowed to either sell their land on consignment or to mortgage it with the government to take a soft loan so they can start new lives somewhere else.
A government panel which is working to improve the quality of life of people living in the far South has found the 46 land owners, both Buddhists and Muslims, had no choice but to abandon their land for their own safety.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has previously said Her Majesty the Queen had expressed concerns over a worrying trend that land owned by the locals in Yala, Pattanai, and Narathiwat has been bought up by certain groups of people.
Col Pramote Phromintr, deputy spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4, has confirmed some groups of people are behind the rush to purchase land in the region.
The government has earmarked an initial budget of 1.2 billion baht to fund its own land purchasing and mortgaging project in the South. The scheme, however, has drawn criticism from the opposition Democrat Party.
Je-arming Totayong, a Democrat MP for Narathiwat, accused the government of abusing taxpayers' money to portray the southern situation as being worse than it actually is.
According to Mr Je-arming, a government politician from Bangkok whose name starts with Ch was using his nominees to acquire land in Pattani and Narathiwat in the hope of making a huge profit from re-selling the land when the government's project to construct a large Halal food factory in the area is implemented.
"This policy of the government will only benefit its cronies, not the locals," he said.