Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong

KUCHING: The federal government has been urged to set RM500 per tonne as the floor price for the selling of palm oil in the country.

Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong said, “Yesterday (Tuesday), when I debated on the supplementary budget for the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, I urged them to set the floor price of palm oil at RM500 per tonne and not less than that.

“If the price increases like during previous years where palm oil could be sold at RM700 to RM800, I would be happy because I am a palm oil farmer.

“But now, due to Covid-19,  most affected are the small-time farmers as the price for oil palm has plummeted to RM200 to RM300 per tonne. So, I asked the ministry to set the floor price at RM500 per tonne,” he said when met yesterday.

He was clarifying his debate speech on Tuesday, which was misinterpreted by some quarters who thought he was pushing for a fixed price of RM500 per tonne for palm oil.

Ugak said setting RM500 per tonne as the floor price would enable farmers to heave sighs of relief.

“Now, if we want to buy fertilisers, we have to spend RM70 to RM80 and for the pesticides, we have to spend nearly RM200 to RM250, meaning that while the price of palm oil plummeted, its upkeep cost has increased.

“Farmers are being put into a difficult position. That is why I have asked that the floor price be set at RM500 per tonne and not less than that,” he said.

The Hulu Rajang MP urged the ministry to look into his request to help palm oil farmers, especially in Sarawak.