KUALA BERANG (December 1): The government plans to build 2,000 crepe rubber processing centers across the country to enable small rubber farmers, totaling around 459,000 in the country, to increase their incomes.
Plantations, Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the initiative was among those planned by the ministry under the National Rubber Industry Transformation Program, which aims to improve the income of smallholders.
“With the availability of these centers, smallholders can send the ‘piece of cup’ (coagulated rubber that is produced when the latex is not collected and allowed to clot under the action of bacteria) to be made into crepe rubber,” which is of greater value.
“It will also save smallholders from going through middlemen for the process and allow them (smallholders) to sell the crepe rubber themselves to companies that produce rubber products,” she said. said at a press conference after visiting Sungai Sari Rubber Research Station here on Wednesday (December 1).
According to Zuraida, smallholders can earn up to RM2,000 per month selling crepe rubber, compared to RM1,000 to 1,300 per month selling chunks of cum.
She said to start off that the ministry, through the Malaysian Rubber Board, aims to build 100 pancake centers in Kedah, which contributes 30% of the country’s total rubber production and is one of the major producers of Malaysian rubber.
She also advised small rubber farmers to form cooperatives, as the move could help them work in an organized manner and also facilitate the transmission of government information.
Meanwhile, on the process of recruiting 32,000 foreign workers to work in the country’s oil palm plantations, Zuraida said it would soon be done.
“God willing, we will bring in foreign workers next year if the situation is good and authorized by the Ministry of Health,” she added.