BY SITI NURAIN RATANI
KOTA SAMARAHAN: A total of RM29.46 million from the monsoon aid 2021 for 49,103 smallholders in Sarawak allocated by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) has been spent.
Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said that his ministry has continued to give the aid to the smallholders whose incomes tend to get affected by the monsoon and currently by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For every 49,103 smallholders who apply for the 2021 aid, they receive RM600 in two payments.
“Next month, RM300 will be put into the accounts of smallholders registered with Risda and the rest will be paid this December,” he said.
He said this in a text of speech read by Deputy Minister of Rural Development II Datuk Hasbi Habibollah at the Risda and Quick Win Kemas Aid Presentation Ceremony, at the Risda Sarawak Office, on Saturday (Oct 23).
He explained that the assistance is given to smallholders and rubber tappers who cultivate land not exceeding 2.5 hectares.
“Applications for the aid have been opened since September 15 and will close on November 15.
“For smallholders who have not yet or are in the process of applying, Risda still receive applications online or at the nearest Risda office,” he said.
Mahdsir explained that the distribution of the monsoon aid for this year is one of the government’s efforts to reduce the burden of smallholders.
Regarding the price of scrap rubber, Mahdzir said the increase in commodity prices is under the authority of the Ministry of Industry, Plantation and Commodities.
“We only receive and bring up grievances of smallholders to the ministry,” he said.