Aid for rubber smallholders to be paid soon

JOHOR BARU: The Monsoon Season Aid of RM300 a month will be paid to rubber smallholders and tappers registered with the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) next month.

Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said the aid would be given for two months to some 300,000 smallholders who own rubber estates of less than 2.5 ha.

“We will give the assistance in November and December involving a total payment of RM192mil.

“This is a programme by the government whereby all the while during this season, the government will provide aid at the end of the year,” he told reporters after presenting 10,000 Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit to the community in Tanjung Piai, Pontian, yesterday.

Wee who is also Tanjung Piai Member of Parliament, said the initiative also aimed to reduce the burden of rubber smallholders as the monsoon season is the period when they are most affected.

Commenting on the proposal to increase the floor price of scrap rubber from RM2.50 a kg currently to RM3.50 per kg, Wee said the matter is still under review.

“The ministry has taken note of the proposal so that the rubber smallholders can increase their business. However, this matter must be viewed seriously, besides examining the government’s financial ability,” he said.

On Oct 19, Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was reported as saying the proposal to increase the floor price of scrap rubber from the current RM2.50 per kg to RM3.50 per kg will prevent smallholders from switching to other commodity crops. — Bernama

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