Incentives will help farming sector grow, says association

IPOH: Incentives for farmers to grow more produce should be included in the 2022 Budget, says Chay Ee Mong.

The Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary said the cost of farming and operations continued to increase and the government should include some form of incentive or subsidy to help farmers.

He said such an incentive was introduced in 2009, whereby vegetable farmers would be paid about RM81 for a tonne of crops.

“Farmers and producers can make a claim with the district agriculture office to cover their input.

“However, it lasted only about a year and a half. Hopefully, it can be included in the Budget.

“Maybe they can set the price at RM90 per tonne. A farmer could get about RM900 for 10 tonnes of produce,” he added.

He said the incentive would also help with achieving sustainability in farming and food security.

“Perhaps it’s time the Finance Ministry gives us more attention to help the agriculture industry achieve a good self-sustaining level and to lower the dependency on imports,” he said, adding that with more financial assistance, it would also safeguard local farmers and growers.

“We can talk about going into high-technology farming but we are not getting enough subsidies to do this,” he said, adding that land issues were another that needed to be resolved by both the federal and state governments.

Separately, bank officer Michael Chang, 40, is hoping for more “goodies” for the public, especially for those in the lower income bracket.

“The tax rate for the people should be lowered and a higher rebate on certain expenses like medical or electronic gadgets.

“A lower tax rate and a higher rebate will help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He added that there could be higher expenses in medical bills as many people would go to the doctors for check-ups during the pandemic and spent on laptops or tablets for online learning.

Chang also hoped that the government would allow hotel accommodation expenses to be given a rebate when filing for taxes.

“I think this will boost the local tourism and hospitality industry,” he added.

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