Johor BN rep moots rural cooperatives to generate income

Ben Tan
Onn Hafiz said the low market prices from palm oil and rubber yield has affected the rural community who are dependent on the commodities to make a living. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Aug 16 — Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman for Layang-Layang Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi proposed today the set-up of cooperatives in Johor to help improve the livelihoods of rural communities.

He said the low market prices from palm oil and rubber yield has affected the rural community who are dependent on the commodities to make a living.

“Cooperatives can work with the Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman to assist rural cooperatives as their members have land.

“Such a move can help the cooperative members to grow vegetables or fruits like chillies, mustard, banana and so on. This is to help them generate income, helping to ease the burden of the people,” the Umno lawmaker said in the state legislative assembly here.

Onn Hafiz made the proposal in a supplementary question to Johor Infor­ma­tion, Entrepreneurship Develop­ment, Cooperatives and Creative Economy committee Chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali.

Sheikh Umar replied that the proposal was very good, and promised to look into the matter together with his Pakatan Harapan colleague, state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal.

Johor has sizable palm oil and rubber plantations.

As of 2017, the combined area planted with palm oil, rubber, cocoa, pepper, kenaf and sago is 6,910,773 hectares, accounting for more than 63 per cent of agriculture land and about 21 per cent of Malaysia’s land mass.