Poultry, flower and pomelo farmers hope for incentives

IPOH: With the rising cost of living and lack of funding, poultry, flower and pomelo farmers are hoping for incentives to be announced in the coming Budget 2024.

Manjung Poultry Farmers Association chairman Datuk Tan Wooi Perng said he hoped the government would support the poultry industry and would announce interest-free loans in Budget 2024.

Tan said the interest rate is currently more than 3%, and poultry farmers are not making profits.

“Due to the unpredictable weather, chickens are facing disease problems, their growth is affected and they are not putting on weight accordingly.

“We face losses and the high interest rate is not helping either.

Wooi Perng: ‘The high interest rate is not helping either.’Wooi Perng: ‘The high interest rate is not helping either.’

“Cost is also involved as poultry farmers are advised to change the system from open farming to a closed-house one by 2024,” he said when contacted.

Cameron Highlands Floriculturist Association president Lee Peng Fo hoped the government would provide some form of incentives for fertilisers and chemicals used in the farms.

He said one tonne of fertiliser could cost between RM2,000 and RM4,000, and farmers required about three tonnes per month.

“The rental of 0.4ha of land after Covid-19 has also been increased to RM4,500 from RM2,000 per year. Farmers usually have 1.2ha of land.

“I am hoping that the government will provide incentives because business is very slow these days.

“Our flower business has reduced between 40% and 50%, and it will be good if farmers are exempted from paying tax as well,” he added.

Pomelo growers in Tambun are also hoping for some good news come this Budget.

Swee Kong: ‘We are not rich farmers, we are merely surviving.’Swee Kong: ‘We are not rich farmers, we are merely surviving.’

Pomelo farm owner Tan Swee Kong, who is also the group’s spokesperson, said he hoped that incentives would be provided.

He said the majority of the farmers are small-time growers.

“I do hope some form of incentives on equipment and fertilisers would be provided to us.

“We spend RM300 for one bag of 50kg fertiliser, and depending on the size of the farm, we need at least 10 bags per month,” he added.

He said the government should promote pomelos extensively.

“Some 8.9ha of land had been taken away last year for development, and for us growers, the land size is becoming smaller by the day.

“I hope the Prime Minister, who is our MP, will look into our plight of yet to be granted land titles.

“We are not rich farmers, we are merely surviving. And I hope Tambun, known for its pomelos, will continue to carry the legacy because in time to come, the farms may not remain here anymore,” he added.

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