RM16m to help pepper smallholders

Rolland (centre) with the recipients of the Smallholders’ Agricultural Input Assistance vouchers at Rumah Guntol.

JULAU: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities through the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) has allocated RM16.11 million under the Smallholders’ Agricultural Input Assistance to assist pepper smallholders nationwide affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat Jubin, the assistance, given in the form of vouchers, will be distributed to eligible recipients in stages.

“The amount (of assistance) is based on the sum of mature pepper vines owned by farmers.

“Each farmer is eligible to receive a maximum of RM900 worth of vouchers to purchase tools, fertilisers, pesticides and weedicides at any of the 54-panel outlets appointed by MPB.

“Apart from the assistance, 115 pepper smallholders in my constituency also received assistance amounting to RM403,000 under the New Plantation Scheme from MPB.

“In addition to that, 2,290 smallholders in Meluan have also benefited from the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) introduced by the Perikatan Nasional government amounting to RM1,658,950,” he said at the handing over of the Smallholders’ Agricultural Input Assistance vouchers at Rumah Guntol, Nanga Bekiok in Merurun here on Wednesday.

The Meluan assemblyman also thanked the state government for approving an additional allocation of RM1 million for the same purpose.

Apart from that, Rolland added that two private smallholder farm road projects were being implemented in Meluan to facilitate the smallholders. The projects had received an allocation of RM540,000.