Agriculture smallholders get RM265 million aid in face of commodities price drop

Uggah inspecting the Spaoh Waterfront project with Charlie.

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KUCHING, Nov 6: The Sarawak government has allocated RM265 million to help agriculture smallholders affected by the current drop in prices of primary commodities.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the amount was part of the RM767 million allocated to the agriculture sector under the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF), as announced in the Sarawak Budget 2020.

“It will be utilised to finance various income diversification programmes, for equipment, infrastructure supports and others.

“This is our initiative to help the smallholders, the majority of whom are natives affected by the drop in the price of oil palm, rubber and pepper,” he said in a statement.

With the AFF, smallholders would not be prompted to abandon or neglect their farms, he added.

Uggah, who is also the Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development, said the government was giving a sum of RM29.1 million to assist fishermen in the state during the ‘landas’ (monsoon) season.

Last weekend, the minister visited the sites of three major projects being implemented in Spaoh, Betong, namely the RM14 million Spaoh Sports Complex (inclusive of land acquisition cost), the RM6.4 million Spaoh Waterfront project and the RM5 million Spaoh Agriculture Office.

Accompanying him during the visit were political secretary to the Chief Minister Dr Richard Rapu and secretary of Betong District Council Charlie Keling. — DayakDaily