In light of the continuous decrease in the price on rubber since 2011, the State Government has taken steps to ensure that smallholders are not severely affected, according to Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin
In reply to a question posed by Kadamaian Assemblyman Ukoh @ Jeremmy Malajad at the State Assembly Seating what action the Government has taken to help smallholders through the slump in rubber price, Yahya said that the Goverment has put in place a Rubber Output Incentive programme since 2012, where smallholders will earn 50 cents per kilogram of dry rubber.
“This incentive will encourage smallholders to increase their rubber output and therefore increase their earnings,” he said.
In addition, the government encourages and assists in the replanting of old rubber with new rubber clones – handing out approximately RM14, 000 per hectare in assistance.
In 2012 and 2013, the government assisted 3, 579 smallholders in 130 villages, covering approximately 11, 877 hectares. In 2014, it aims to assist another 1, 893 smallholders, Yahya explained.
He said the new rubber clones can increase rubber output from 1,400 kg per hectare to 2, 000 kg per hectare annually.
The price of rubber has continued to go down from RM13, 483 per tonne in 2011 to RM 7, 260 per tonne in 2013 due to low demand from the United States and European countries. The price of rubber is expected to remain low until the end of 2014