KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) -- The Rubber Production Incentive (IPG), which was introduced in September 2015, has benefitted 219,429 smallholders with a total payout of RM481.24 million as of Oct 31, 2023, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Fadillah, who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister, said the government, under Budget 2024, has agreed to raise the activation pricing level to RM3.00 per kilogramme (kg) from RM2.70.
“This means the IPG will be activated if the average monthly farmgate price for cup-lump rubber falls below RM3.00 per kg.
“The improved incentive will hopefully ease the burden of smallholders during times of rubber price uncertainty,” he told the Dewan Rakyat in a written reply on the Parliament’s website today.
He was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) who wanted to know about any plan to raise the minimum price of cup-lump rubber as a measure to assist smallholders.
Fadillah noted that natural rubber is export-oriented and its prices are affected by various factors, especially the global supply and demand.
It is not easy for the government to intervene in the market, he said, noting that the country’s production accounts for only about 3.3 per cent of global production.
However, he said, the government will continue to help smallholders who are affected by rubber price downtrend and uncertainty by employing strategies such as cooperation with the world’s leading rubber producers under the framework of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) dan Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).
Moreover, he said, the Livelihood Rubber Price Mechanism to be introduced at the international level, which will benefit smallholders, is at the proposal stage.
“This effort is to enable natural rubber prices to be within a fixed price range to reduce uncertainty over global rubber prices,” he said.
In a reply to a different question, Fadillah said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is implementing the Oil Palm Smallholders Replanting (TSPKS) and the Oil Palm Smallholders Agriculture Input (IPPKS) schemes for independent smallholders who are eligible and fulfil the application criteria.
He was answering a question from Roslan Hashim (PN-Kulim Bandar Baharu) on whether the government can assist oil palm smallholders in planting through MPOB as the rubber replanting assistance provided by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA).
“The ministry hopes the assistance such as through the TSPKS and IPPKS schemes will be able to help the country’s independent oil palm smallholders totalling 213,456 people to increase the yield of fresh fruit bunches and hence raise their income,” he added.
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