MALAYSIA: Rubber smallholders will not sell lands as prices drop

Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon said this was because the 440,000 smallholders were traditional planters and they would not easily give up their land.

\"Although the smallholders are getting older, they appreciate their land and would protect their heritage,\" she said.

She was replying a supplementary question by Senator Datuk Dr Firdaus Abdullah who wanted to know the government\'s efforts in preventing smallholders from selling their land due to low rubber price.

Noriah said the ministry however did not take the matter lightly as there were parties using the unstable rubber prices to acquire smallholders land.

On this, the ministry through the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) is handing out assistance such as subsidies and incentives to smallholders under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) on rubber.

She said the ministry and MRB were also formulating strategies to strengthen the marketing chain between the manufacturers and the smallholders for the benefit of planters.

\"It is to shorten the existing marketing chain to reduce discount between the Free On Board (FOB) price with the price at the plantation for a better margin,\" she said.

Source: \"Bernama\" (National News Agency of Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur; 28 April2014.
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)