Risda ready to develop Sabah’s natural rubber industry

KOTA MARUDU – The Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) is ready to spearhead Sabah’s natural rubber industry, especially the development of smallholdings.

Risda Holding Sdn Bhd Chairman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail said a dynamic mechanism was required to bring the rubber industry in Sabah to the forefront of development and Risda had the experience and expertise to carry out the mammoth task.

“Risda has already surveyed the entire state and has received positive feedback from rubber smallholders towards the agency’s developmental programmes.

“Many smallholders in the state are keen to seek our assistance to develop their smallholdings.

“For this purpose, 48,000 hectares of rubber smallholdings belonging to an individual will be involved in 14 development programmes implemented by Risda in Sabah,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

The programmes include land development and replanting of old rubber trees with high-yielding clones.

It also involved efforts to diversify sources of income for smallholders which among others, included providing training in oil palm cultivation.

“Risda is prepared to consider applications from smallholders with commercial lease land and communal grant to undertake these programmes,” he added.

Abdul Rahim also said Sabah currently had only 70,000 hectares of land under rubber cultivation.

Source: New Sabah Times