MALAYSIA: SRIB to expand rubber planting in Sabah's East Coast

The Sabah Rubber  Industry Board (SRIB) is planning on expanding the acreage of rubber planting in the east coast area of the state, its Chairman Datuk Zakaria Edris said.

Rubber planting activities in the state are currently concentrated in the west coast and interior areas to help generate income for the local rural folks.

Zakaria said SRIB was in the midst of  identifying a suitable place for rubber planting in the east coast to increase the state's production of the commodity.

Although the east coast areas are known for their oil palm, there are areas which are not suitable for the crop and can be used for the planting of rubber, he said.

Among the state's rural areas where rubber planting is being carried out in big scale are Semenanjung Bengkoka  Pitas, Tomani  Tenom and Sipitang.

He said locals participating in the rubber planting scheme have begun to see the benefits for them-high and steady monthly income.

It has not only generated income for them but has also helped them to come out of their poverty.

"This is in line with SRIB, a state owned subsidiary company which has the role of helping to eradicate poverty among the rural folks by helping them earn their income through rubber planting activities,” he said.

Zakaria said SRIB also welcomed villagers in the state wanting to work on their abandoned land by planting them with rubber. He said they would be given assistance in the form of advisory services and high quality rubber seedlings.

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)