RM192mil rainy season aid given to rubber smallholders

For the people: Wee (third from left) showing the Covid-19 test kits after handing them over to the folks in Tanjung Piai.

PONTIAN: About RM192mil have been allocated to help rubber smallholders weather the rainy season.

A RM300 monthly aid would be given for two months to smallholders with less than 2.5ha of rubber plantation, said Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng.

“This Bantuan Musim Tengkujuh had been offered by the government for years. Smallholders will receive the aid at the end of each year during the rainy season,” he said.

The money would be channelled in November and December, he told a press conference after handing over 10,000 Covid-19 test kits from Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd to the Tanjung Piai community.

These smallholders are registered under the Rubber Industries Smallholders Development Authority.

On a separate matter, Wee said the plan to increase the floor price of scrap rubber from RM2.50 to RM3.50 per kg was still being studied.

The plan is intended at increasing the income of rubber smallholders.

“However, it has to be studied thoroughly. We need to look into the government’s financial situation,” he added.

On Oct 15, Risda chairman Datuk Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif said the present floor price of scrap rubber, which is RM2.50 per kg, was far lower than oil palm, which could fetch up to RM1,100 per tonne.

He urged the government to consider raising the floor price of scrap rubber to RM3.50 per kg beginning January.

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