MPIC aims for 200,000 tonnes annual latex production

Pic shows Zuraidah speaking at the IPL launching ceremony at MHJ Enterprise, - Bernama

KOTA BARU: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) aims to produce 200,000 tonnes of latex per year over the next five years through the East Coast Latex Corridor Programme.

Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said Malaysia’s actual need is at least around 400,000 tonnes of latex per year but so far, the country is only able to produce less than 10 per cent of the demand, which is around 32,000 tonnes of latex per year.

“The East Coast Latex Corridor Programme involves 200,000 rubber planters in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang (and) we are targeting at least 50% of the demand for latex, which is 200,000 tonnes per year, to be produced in the next five years.

“Among the initiatives implemented by the ministry to achieve the target is the introduction of Latex Production Incentive (IPL) to encourage and provide support to rubber planters to increase their latex production,” she told reporters at the IPL launching ceremony at MHJ Enterprise, Bukit Bunga yesterday.Also present were MPIC deputy secretary-general, strategic planning and management, Abdul Hadi Omar and Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) director-general Datuk Dr Zairossani Mohd Nor.

Zuraida said the government has allocated RM25 million through IPL to increase the country’s latex production as well as increase the income of entrepreneurs through rubber production. She said it also aimed to provide opportunities for rubber smallholders to supplement their income by encouraging them to switch to producing latex instead of cuplump rubber.

“Each rubber smallholder who participates in this programme will receive assistance in the form of agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides worth RM850 per hectare on a one-off basis besides a cash incentive of RM1 per kg of 100% dry rubber content (DRC).

“DRC measuring equipment, namely RRIMETER technology machines worth RM140,000, will be lent to rubber cooperatives or retail licensees participating in the IPL programme through MRB,” she said. — Bernama

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