Budget 2023 can drive growth of plantation, commodities industries in M’sia, says Fadillah


A worker harvests fruit at an oil palm plantation. – Bernama photo

KUCHING (Feb 25): The Budget 2023 will be able to drive the growth of the plantation and commodities industries in the Malaysia, said Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah, who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister, believed the budget would benefit stakeholders of the industries and that it is in line with the ‘Madani’ concept.

“My ministry believes one of the main focuses of the budget is looking after the welfare and well-being of small farmers in the country in order to continue driving the plantation sector forward,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Fadillah also remarked that his ministry is determined to see the competitiveness and governance of the country be further improved.

“In 2022, the agri-commodity sector contributed 5.6 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) with an export value of RM207.3 billion and a trade surplus of RM146.5 billion.

“Without a doubt, the sector is the most important component of the country’s economy,” he said.

Thus, his ministry remains focused in increasing the participation level of the local workforce in the plantation sector and hoped plantation companies will work with the ministry in the efforts to encourage greater local participation, as such efforts are needed to enhance productivity and the country’s exports.

In the Budget 2023, Fadillah said the federal government will provide RM50 million in matching grants to encourage automation and artificial intelligence to be adopted in the plantation sector as well as to hire skilled local workers.

Another RM80 million is allocated to improving the sustainability of the palm oil industry and carrying out campaigns in countering anti-palm oil activities.

Fadillah said the federal government will also spend RM350 million to increase the rubber production incentive activation price level from RM2.50 to RM2.70 per kilogramme.

“There is also a RM50-million allocation to embark on a Cup Lump Modified Bitumen technology for the purpose of road maintenance,” he said.

Fadillah opined that as a result, 2023 will be a more dynamic year considering the potential challenges to ensure the sustainability of the country’s agri-commodity industries.

“My ministry is committed to facing the challenges ahead for the sustainability of the industries as well as improving the livelihood the people that depend on the industries.  Besides, the National Agri-Commodity Policy 2021-2030 will continue to be the foundation to realise the aspiration of a Madani Malaysia.”