SIK, July 21 (Bernama) — The government will consider several measures to be implemented in the near future to overcome the slump in rubber prices and reduce its impact on local smallholders.
Regional and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said among the measures which could be taken to increase productivity were using a good clone, implementing a tapping and fertilisation system as well as effectively implementing existing technology.
“The government will look at several ways to ensure we can handle the drop in rubber prices, which have already been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” he told a news conference after presenting the Kedah Rubber Price Decrease Special Aid (BKKH 2.0) and Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) dividend, here Monday.
He said the government would also look at long-term measures such as productivity, usage of appropriate technique and increase the use of rubber to stabilise its price at the international level.
Earlier, Mohd Shafie presented RM26,037,500 in BKKH 2.0 funds which was distributed to 52,075 smallholders in the state as an immediate move to ease their burden due to living cost.
He said the government had approved RM154 million in BKKH 2.0, with a one-off payment of RM500 to 260,000 smallholders and 48,000 rubber tappers nationwide who were affected by the commodity’s price drop.
“So far we have distributed to 234,000 land owners with an allocation of RM117 million and RM7.43 million for rubbers tappers nationwide,” he said.
Mohd Shafie said the ministry aimed to complete the distribution before Aidilfitri celebrations at month’s end.