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MALAYSIA: Primary Industries Ministry to study rubber floor price
The Primary Industries Ministry will conduct a study on the Rubber Production Incentive (IPG) floor price, which is currently set at MYR 2.20 per kg. Its Minister, Teresa Kok, said the government has proposed to allocate MYR 50 million under the 2019 Budget to implement the IPG to help smallholders and rubber tappers, but has yet to determine its floor price. “The problem is the quantum; the floor price, which is MYR 2.20, and the ministry will be conducting a study to see if it should remain at MYR 2.20 or increase it.
“We need to calculate the number of rubber tappers who are eligible for the incentive, so this will take a bit of time,” she told reporters in Kajang on Monday, 12 November 2018. Kok was responding to Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir’s comment on the effect of falling prices on rubber tappers’ incomes in the past few months. Mukhriz said the issue would be brought up in the upcoming debate on the 2019 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament) so that the federal government would reconsider the amount of the special allocation for the group.
Kok also urged rubber smallholders to diversify their income sources by engaging in mixed farming to increase their incomes. “The Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority has been encouraging smallholders to venture into other fields to diversify their income sources instead of merely relying on rubber, and livestock and mixed cultivation of crops will help,” she added.