State Farmers Organisation wants 5 pct FFB tax abolished

Dr Abdul Rahman beating the gong to launch SFO's 33rd annual general meeting in Kuching this morning, while Entri (second from left) looks on.

KUCHING, Sept 27: Sarawak Farmers Organisation (SFO) chairman Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran is urging the state government to abolish the five per cent fresh fruit bunches (FFB) tax imposed on oil palm planters with estates below 100 acres.

He said this had caused their profit margin to be too low, on top of planters having to absorb other costs and charges.

Entri, who is also Beluru Palm Oil Mill (BPOM) chairman, said the low market price of crude palm oil (CPO) wasn’t helping either, as the palm oil mills were also having a hard time.

“Planters are urging the state government to abolish the five per cent CPO tax on planters with estates less than 100 acres.

“This FFB tax is affecting the payout to the planters, making their profit margin too small,” he said at the launching of SFO’s 33rd annual general meeting here this morning.

Entri also urged the state government to set up a government-linked corporate body to focus on improving the socio-economy of local farmers.

This would allow the government, through this proposed corporate body, to implement policies as well as channel allocations directly to SFO members to implement projects that would benefit members.

Entri (fifth from left) and Dr Abdul Rahman (on Entri’s left) in a group photo with about 170 representatives from 28 Regional Farmers’ Organisations from all over the state after the launching of SFO’s 33rd annual general meeting in Kuching today.

He also urged the private sector to open up opportunities for members to become partners, especially those with international networking or contacts.

“In other words, through this private sector driven projects with farmers’ organisation, farmers are given the opportunities to become the anchor company working together with the private sector,” said Entri.

He also urged the government to give a waiver of tenders to SFO members and farmers as well as allocate revolving capitals to each Regional Farmers Organisations through venture capital by the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, who officiated at the ceremony, said he had noted down the grouses and requests by SFO and would forward them to the ministry.

Representing Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, he advised farmers, including SFO members, to work closely with government agencies and departments and grab whatever opportunities being offered by them.

“Farmers’ organisations consist of regional farmers’ organisations, state organisations and national organisations.

“I urge you to work with each other in businesses, which is the main objective of the organisations while at the same time reap the benefits out of successful businesses as a result of this cooperation,” said Dr Abdul Rahman. — DayakDaily