Saturday, August 24

Plant two cash crops for insurance, rural farmers told

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Uggah cutting the ribbon to officiate at the programme, witnessed by Rayong (left) and other officials.

Uggah cutting the ribbon to officiate at the programme, witnessed by Rayong (left) and other officials.

ENGKILILI: Rural farmers here have been advised to plant at least two cash crops to secure their income going forward.

According to Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, the government sees this as the right strategy for those living in the rural areas given that there is no set price for crops.

“Farming is somewhat a game of investment. Rather than focus on one type, why not invest in more (crops)?” he said after opening a seminar on ‘Small Farmers Transformation’ at Rumah Empading here recently.

Uggah cited the recent drop in rubber prices as an example of how the sole dependency on one crop could adversely affect rural farmers.

“If all farmers across the state could focus on cultivating more than one crop, it might save them from incurring losses should such happen. At least the other crop could serve as back-up.”

In this respect, he said the government through agencies such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Malaysia Cocoa Board (LKM) and Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB), could provide assistance to the farmers.

“They can all assist. Farmers should also do the right thing by contacting these agencies and applying for assistance. Do not hesitate to contact them (agencies) – it’s their job to assist farmers,” he said.

Uggah was accompanied by Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong at the programme, which was also attended by LKM director-general Datuk Lee Choon Hui, MPB director-general Datuk Grunsin Ayom, officials from MPOB as well as Sri Aman District Council Walikota Richard Tawan Sedu.