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KUCHING, Aug 24: The Sarawak government has allocated a sum of RM60 million as fertiliser subsidies to help oil palm and pepper smallholders statewide.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today handed over the cheque for the amount to the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development (MANRED) Edwin Abit at his office here.
In his speech earlier on, Uggah emphasised that this financial aid programme is to lighten the burden plantation smallholders faced as well as to motivate them to continuously increase their productions.
“It will be implemented in phases beginning this October with each qualified smallholder given 12 bags of fertiliser.
“It is estimated that some 58,000 of them are expected to benefit from this programme,” he said.
Uggah, who is also MANRED Minister, pointed out that there are many smallholders growing the commodities as their primary source of income which is largely depending on the current world market prices.
“But the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected them as well,” he said.
He added the aid would be distributed through the respective District Agriculture and the Area Farmer’s Organisation offices.
Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet, Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) general manager Joseph Blandoi and political secretary to the Chief Minister Dr Richard Rapu witnessed the presentation.
Later, Uggah also handed over a grant of RM8 million to the Dayak Cultural Foundation which was received by its Finance and Property manager Stanley Linggoh.
The grant from the State government is a matching grant to finance the development of its nine-storey office towers namely Tower A for the Dayak Cultural Foundation and Tower B for the Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.— DayakDaily