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31 Jan 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The percentage of smallholders applying for the Rubber Production Incentive (IPG) is expected to increase this year, thus increasing their income by 25 per cent per month, according to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the IPG assistance would be channelled directly to smallholders without a manual application process after middlemen and rubber buyers were required to use the RRIMniaga application from Jan 1 this year.

"With the help of IPG, the estimated income of smallholders is projected to increase by 25 per cent from RM933 to RM1,167 per month.

"This is based on the average farm ownership of two hectares and the farm price of rubber cuplump of RM2 per kilogramme," he said in a statement Sunday.

Mohd Khairuddin said in 2020, a total of 30.16 per cent of smallholders who have a Rubber Transaction Authorisation Permit (PAT-G) had claimed IPG.

The number of active farmers submitting claims accounted for 135,632 out of a total of 495,296 PAT-G cardholders, involving rubber smallholdings spanning 294,095.79 hectares.

"The government has never stopped assisting smallholders, especially when rubber prices are low," he said.

The IPG programme and use of the RRIMniaga application are among the initiatives taken by the ministry and Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) to help cushion the impact of falling prices and ensure continuous production of the commodity products, as well as stabilise smallholders’ income.

The RRIMniaga application was launched by the MRB early last year to facilitate rubber transactions involving retailers, buyers and middlemen.

In Budget 2021, the allocation of IPG funds has been doubled to RM300 million from last year’s.

More than 450,000 rubber smallholders are still reeling from the challenging economic situation, which was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, since last year. -Bernama

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