KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s agricultural sector will receive a marginally higher allocation under Budget 2020, rising from RM4.4bil in 2019 to RM4.9bil, with a special focus on enhancing the income of farmers.
In addition, some RM810mil will be set aside for the welfare of Felda settlers.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said RM250mil would be allocated to an income enhancement programme benefiting 11,600 Felda settlers while another RM300mil would be set aside to write off the interest on their debts.
Another RM100mil will be channelled into improving water supply, RM70mil for housing a new generation of settlers and RM90mil to improve roads and basic infrastructure in Felda settlements.
A total of RM738mil will also go towards implementing various income generation programmes for rubber and rural smallholders under Risda and Felcra, benefiting over 400,000 people.
The cost of living allowance for fishermen will be raised by RM50, from RM200 a month currently to RM250 a month under Budget 2020, with an overall allocation of RM152mil.
Some RM150mil will also go towards helping farmers, fishermen and settlers diversify their sources of income through crop integration programmes for chilli, pineapple, coconut, watermelon and bamboo.
The government, said Lim, also intended to make glutinous rice a signature product for Langkawi with an allocation of RM30mil, benefiting some 1,200 farmers.
To increase the yield of padi, the allocation has been increased through the Skim Baja Padi Kerajaan Persekutuan and Skim Insentif Pengeluaran Padi from RM796mil to RM855mil.
The government will also continue with subsidies for padi bukit (a variety of hill rice) while giving some RM43mil for the agricultural industry to develop new crop varieties with higher yield and quality.