BY SITI NURAIN RATANI
KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) has allocated RM51.02 million to rubber smallholders in Sarawak.
Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the allocation would benefit a total of 114,171 rubber planters which included assistance for rubber plantations, additional economic activities, productivity development and agro-food.
He noted that the rubber replanting programme had received positive response from local planters after the assistance was increased to RM14,805 per hectare from RM13,500 per hectare previously.
“A total of 1,301 hectares have been successfully replanted by 1,504 rubber planters in the state,” he said in a text speech read by Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Hasbi Habibollah at the Risda and Quick Win Kemas Aid Presentation ceremony held at Risda Sarawak Office here on Saturday (Oct 23).
“For agricultural infrastructure needs, the ministry through Risda has provided 75.1 kilometres of agricultural roads, 67 sower units, 3.2 kilometres of drainage systems and two bridges to facilitate plantation operations.
“All the assistance for the rubber plantation area involves an allocation of more than RM19 million,” he said.
As for the Agro-Food Programme, he said the programme was newly introduced this year involving 46 farmers who were involved in livestock, short-term and long-term crops.