Malaysia needs to find ways to boost latex production, says Ahmad Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to find ways to switch from scrap rubber (cup lump) to improve latex production, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said this was because Malaysia still imported about 80% of latex at a cost of around RM3bil.

"Malaysia is the world’s largest rubber producer and a glove-producing country, with latex as the primary material. But why do we have to import latex?

"Even though it involves a lot of work and there is a lack of manpower as most rubber tappers are aged around 60 to 70, we need to find ways to produce (more) latex because, in Malaysia, there are only seven depots for latex production."

He said this in the Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme titled "Post-Budget 2023: Empowering Desa MADANI”, produced by RTM on Saturday (Feb 25).

On ways to facilitate latex production, Ahmad Zahid said they included strengthening existing cooperatives and working with non-governmental organisations related to rubber plantation settlers.

He said this in response to the increased allocation for the Rural and Regional Development Ministry by RM500mil compared to 2022 and how it could benefit target groups, especially rubber tappers.

In Malaysia, cup lumps were more popular among rubber tappers than latex, which involved a more complex production process.

To produce cup lumps, rubber tappers only needed to leave the sap to harden in cups before collecting the yield after three days.

As for latex, they had to wait for the sap to stop dripping between four and five hours before collection. - Bernama

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Ahmad Zahid , KKDW , Rubber , Latex , Cup Lumps ,


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