THE Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry held a special event in Kampung Erong in Teluk Intan to encourage greater orang asli participatian in the rubber industry.
Organised in tandem with the “Good Agricultural Practices” initiative, the event is a continuation of the “Rubber For Indigenous Peoples’ programme which aims to raise the living standards of the orang asli community.
Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong who officiated the event said farmers and rubber tappers can benefit from the advancements in rubber research.
“We have actively carried out a variety of innovative research initiatives to produce high-quality and high-productivity rubber clones that are resilient against pests and diseases.
“The programme is aimed to train smallholders in systematic rubber plantation management to achieve higher yields.
“The smallholders are also exposed to useful information, the latest technologies, plantation techniques, tapping systems, and plantation inputs relevant to managing their plantations,” he added.
Mah said, with the adoption of good practices, rubber smallholders could stand to reap the fruits of their labour within four years.
He said higher yields have contributed to raising incomes of the villagers in the sole orang asli village in Teluk Intan.
Mah added that the programme is in line with the government’s National Key Economic Areas agenda.
He said some 63 smallholders and rubber tappers also received aid in the form of plantation equipment such as rubber boots and spray pumps to help their efforts.
“A total of 200 people took part in the programme, ranging from smallholders to rubber tappers.
“I hope, through the implementation of the initiative, smallholders and rubber tappers will be able to utilise better agricultural practices to boost the productivity of their rubber smallholdings.
“This will subsequently lead to an improvement of living standards for the orang asli community, and reduce the income gap between urban and rural communities,” he added.