KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — A total of 552,543 rubber smallholders in the country are to benefit from RM338 million worth in development programmes this year.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced the allocation to the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).
In a statement today, Risda said the money will cover programmes such as the replanting of rubber trees, basic agricultural infrastructure, additional economic activities and entrepreneurship, an incentive scheme to boost rubber productivity, as well as expansion of services and training of smallholders.
Risda said RM37 million of the total was handed over to its Kedah branch in a ceremony and said the sum would benefit 73,642 rubber smallholders throughout the state.
At the same ceremony attended by Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Risda said Azmin had also delivered RM1.5 million for basic agricultural infrastructure.
Risda said RM3.1 million was also given for an incentive scheme for greater rubber productivity while another RM348,500 was allocated to a programme to increase rubber output.
Risda said Azmin also handed entrepreneurship assistance to rubber smallholders under the Groombig programme, namely entrepreneurs Siti Khodijah Murad (chilli sauce), Fadhilah Azmi (printing), Nor Arizah Nayan (chilli sauce, soy sauce and vinegar) and Nor Ismawarni Ismail (sewing of Muslim women headgear, tudung).
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