RM32.2 million allocated to help 128,000 rubber smallholders in Sarawak

Dr Abdul Latiff about to blow the blow pipe to officiate the opening of the office. Henry is on his left.

By Jacob Achoi

KOTA SAMARAHAN, July 2: An allocation of RM32.2 million has been set aside for the state Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) to help about 128,000 rubber smallholders in the state.

Of the amount, RM25.3 million is for rubber replanting programmes under the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plans, covering 10,798 hectares, while the remaining amount is for the development of infrastructure and training, productivity and entrepreneurship programmes.

This was revealed by Minister of Rural Development Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad when officiating at official opening of the RM8.2 million state Risda office at Kota Samarahan today.

“Since Risda Sarawak was set up 10 years back, the federal government has allocated RM336 million until 2019, and for this year a total of RM32.2 million.

“The government will continue to help rubber smallholders in Sarawak by introducing various initiatives to improve their economic wellbeing,” he pointed out.

He added that Risda Sarawak will also receive RM1.2 million to benefit 406 entrepreneurs in the agricultural, service and food sector.

On Risda state offices, Dr Abdul Latiff said all states now have such an office, adding that the Ministry of Rural Development has allocated RM521 million to Risda for its various programmes, including replanting, to 500,000 smallholders in the country.

Among those present at the function today were Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang amd Risda chairman Datuk Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif. — DayakDaily