A pilot project to help farmers, especially the Chinese in Kalumpang, Hulu Selangor, was unveiled on Monday.
The project allows farmers to sell their produce directly to the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama), cutting out the middlemen.
The initial project will comprise four farmers — Chong Yuen Wah, Soo Mun Meng, Lau Kok Lwen and Wong Thein Song.
If it is successful, the project will be extended to farmers nationwide.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the move by the Government was to ensure farmers got the best prices possible for their produce. Previously, they had to go through middlemen.
“For instance, they sold cucumber last week for RM0.30 per kilo.
“Fama could give these farmers RM1.20 or RM1.30 per kilo of cucumber. This is more than four times what they are paid by the middlemen.
“The prices will also depend on market demand and supply.
“The project is aimed at easing the financial burden of the farmers and increase output for their produce, especially among those in the Chinese New Village,” said Liow, at the signing ceremony between the farmers and Fama.
Wong, who manages a 9.71ha plot of land growing lady’s fingers and cucumbers, said he was happy that the Government was helping farmers.
“We used to sell our produce at very low prices to the middlemen. Our earnings were so little that sometimes we could not afford to buy fertiliser or pay the workers.
“With this project, we are assured of a continuous sale at market prices,’’ he said.
Chong, who grows vegetables on a 10.12ha plot said he used to sell cucumbers at RM0.30 per kilo.
“Under this agreement, I can get better prices as well as receive payment for my produce within three days after delivering them to Fama.
“I expect life to be better and I hope this project will be extended to other farmers,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Yayasan myNADI chairman Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said many farmers were cultivating their crops on temporary occupation licences land and as such found it difficult to secure bank loans.
“In November, Yayasan myNADI gave Kalumpang Social and Recreation Club RM20,000 to assist farmers secure bank loans and other matters.
“We are working out an arrangement with the banks and Fama so these farmers are able to apply for loans up to RM200,000 to improve their businesses,’’ said Dr Jeyaindran.
Yayasan myNADI special projects director Ramesh Arumugam Chettiar added that some of the problems faced by the farmers had been resolved.
Fama chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin was also present at the event.
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