MALAYSIA: RM800m assistance for rubber planters in East Malaysia next year

Rubber planters in Sarawak and Sabah can look forward to financial assistance worth RM800 million from the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) by early next year.

"The funding will be available next year. Once the fund is ready, we will make announcement," Dr Elli Luhat, a board member of MRB, told reporters in Kuching on 2 Apr. 2011.  

Speaking after the launch of DLT-1Malaysia Smart Farming Models for Penans and Native Customary Rights (NCR) land owners, he said the MRB board had already agreed in principle to providing the assistance.

Dr Luhat, a PhD holder in forestry and also the innovator of DL Technologies (DLT), said the challenge for rubber planters in Sarawak was to adopt and apply modern technology to become more productive.

On the DLT-1Malaysia Smart Farming Models, he said the models were introduced to enable Sarawakians to see the commercial value of modern farming methods.

Dr Luhat said the models would also help the Penan community because they were one of the groups that needed assistance in farming to boost their economic status.

He said the Penans were one of the poorest communities in Sarawak and needed assistance on how to integrate their resources such as rubber under the smart farming concept to benefit them.

He said another commodity was high-yielding 1Malaysia rubber clones which could generate from RM6,000 to RM7,000 per month from one hectare land based on the current market price which was more than RM10 per kg.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)