Increase latex output to reduce imports, says Zahid

BAGAN DATUK: The Rural and Regional Development Ministry through Risda will add another latex production depot to increase the production of the commodity in this country, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said that it is also to reduce dependence on latex imports from abroad for industrial use in the country.

"Although rubber cup lump is still produced, my focus is to produce more latex. This can also help save RM3bil for latex imports from abroad if more can be produced locally," he said when met by reporters at the Perdana Al-Quran Tadarus ceremony in conjunction with Ramadan at the Bagan Datuk parliamentary level here on Saturday (April 1).

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said this when asked about the mechanism to ensure the introduction of rubber cup lump floor prices will help increase the income of smallholders and rubber tappers.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said the production of more latex would also helpsto improve prices for growers and rubber tappers to earn a higher income.

Earlier, there was a proposal to study raising the scrap rubber floor price to at least RM3 per kilogramme compared to the RM2.70 announced in the 2023 Budget.

Ahmad Zahid said the matter will be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. – Bernama

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