Monday, May 27

Government identifying new crops for oil palm, rubber smallholders — Kok

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Kok (front, second right) hands over an ‘angpow’ to a lion during the opening of the Elevated Link Bridge connecting the Old Klang Road to the New Pantai Expressway. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has started discussions since the beginning of 2019 to identify new crops that are suitable for oil palm and rubber smallholders to help them diversify their cultivation.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said this was aimed at helping them overcome the challenges due to volatility of commodity prices in the world market.

The Primary Industries Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, as well as the Prime Minister himself feel that smallholders should not rely heavily on only one commodity crop, she said after opening the Elevated Link Bridge connecting the Old Klang Road to the New Pantai Expressway here.

Kok was commeting on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion that smallholders should not be too dependent on one crop.

She said the government is also looking at land suitability with the types of crops to be promoted.

“There are places that might be suitable for cultivation (of certain crops).

“So, it all depends on the areas, as well as the smallholders,” she said.

Kok said many smallholders had started planting cash crops such as coconut, kenaf and pineapple.

“Some smallholders have planted coconuts and because of the high demand, Malaysia have to import one million coconuts a year. I think this crop can bring profit,” she said. — Bernama