Friday, August 14

Sabah reduces poverty rate by seven per cent

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KOTA BELUD: The overall poverty rate in Sabah fell to 16 per cent in 2007, compared to 23.0 per cent in 2004, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin.He said based on the mid-term study of the Ninth Malaysia Plan(RMK-9), the hardcore poor rate also registered a drop to 3.7 per cent in 2007 compared to 6.5 per cent in 2004.

He highlighted that Sabah however, has still the highest poverty rate in the country.

“Hence, the state and Federal government bud­gets have a large allocation for the poverty eradication programme, with a zero hardcore poor target along-side reducing incidents of poverty,” he said.

Yahya said this in his speech at a ceremony to hand over allowances to participants of a chilli and mushrooms farming project using the fertigation system, under the poverty eradica­tion programme here yesterday.

He said that the success in bringing down the poverty rate shows the determi­nation of the state and Federal government in overcoming the problems faced by the people, through the various programmes created to eradicate poverty.

According to Yahya, the state government is confi­dent of overcoming the hardcore poor poverty problem, by 2020.

Also the state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, he said a number of agencies under his ministry were also implementing various programmes to eradicate poverty, with funding under the RMK-9.

He highlighted that among these are, the Village Development Co­operative (KPD) project to rear honey bees at a cost of RM9.02 million, the Subsi­dised Credit Assistance Scheme (SBKB) worth RM3.5 million implemented by the Sabah Fisheries and Fishermen’s Development Cooperative (Ko-Nelayan), the Subsi­dised Traditional Fishing Equipment Supply Scheme (PERMITS) at RM3.03 million and the Scheme to Improve the Social Status of Fishermen (PENTAS) at RM3.66 million.

On the chilli and mush­room project, Yahya said the Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP) initiative is part of the government’s efforts to help lighten the burden of the hardcore poor, by enhancing income and allowing them to escape the clutches of poverty. —Bernama