Wednesday, February 1

Govt will continue to help smallholders, says Shafie Apdal

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PORT DICKSON: The Barisan Nasional government has never been stingy in providing funds to purchase fertilisers in a bid to help rubber smallholders, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said.

APPLYING FERTILISER: Shafie Apdal scatters the fertiliser to a rubber tree at the launching. — Bernama photo

With an annual allocation of RM60 million, he said the government would help reduce the cost borne by the smallholders by 40 per cent.

“Many people still fail to see the good deed of the government. While the opposition parties are busy raising their flags and making baseless allegations, we are working to develop the country,” he said when launching Risda’s National Fertilising Initiative in Linggi here yesterday.

With the launch of the initiative, Shafie said it was hoped that the country would be able to increase its annual rubber production from the current 1,536kg per hectare to 1,600kg per hectare beginning next year.

By following the correct fertilising methods, rubber smallholders in the country can also expect a monthly income of RM2,500 by 2015, he said, adding that the Finance Ministry had also approved an allocation of RM121 million for the replanting of oil palm or rubber. — Bernama