Malaysia to assist 440,000 rubber smallholders, tappers starting November

July 31, 2017

farmerThe government of Malaysia will be providing financial assistance to 440,000 smallholder planters and rubber tappers in the country over a three-month period beginning November this year.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) said the aid, which amounts to RM200 a month, is meant to ease the burden of the farmers during the monsoon period.

An allocation of RM261 million was announced during the 2017 Budget presentation for this purpose.

During a Parliament session on July 26, he said the planters and tappers are unable to work during the monsoon season due to uncertain weather and so the government will step in to aid them. Ismail Sabri was replying to Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) during a question and answer session.

Abdul Azeez had asked if the government would distribute the aid in advance, considering the plummeting rubber prices.

Ismail Sabri said the ministry is aware that rubber prices are currently low.

“But the situation will be even more serious during monsoon period as they will have no income at all,” he said.

He added that the government has introduced several incentives to assist these smallholders, including fixing the base price of rubber at RM2.20 per kilogramme.

Under the incentive, the government has forked out RM66.44 million as the prices of rubber have dropped below the base price.

In replying to additional questions from Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena), Ismail Sabri pointed out that the price of rubber is determined by the world market.

Citing an example, he said the government has been encouraging more domestic consumption of rubber in order to deal with the price slump.

From January until July, the Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR 20) prices have plunged by 40% to RM6.27 per kg from RM9.57 per kg.

The government will have an urgent meeting with Thailand and Indonesia on Sept 15 in Bangkok to look into stabilising the volatility of rubber prices.

The three countries are currently producing about 60% of the global rubber output, totalling to more 12.7 million tonnes.

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International Rubber Prices
(as of 14, November 2017)

Monthly The prices shown above do not include VAT @4% on purchase and expenses towards packing, transportation, warehousing  and other incidentals


Source: India Rubber Board

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