PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of Plantation and Commodity Industries (MPIC) is confident that the newly launched Crip Rubber Processing Center here will help create many more employment opportunities and increase incomes for smallholders.
MPIC Minister, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said the commitment shown by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will also contribute to reducing the economic gap between the upstream and downstream sectors of the national rubber industry.
Zuraida also launched the Rubber Industry Transformation Project (Target) in Padang Terap, Kedah today.
“Crip rubber can be sold at higher prices and is a new alternative for small rubber producers to diversify their sources of income.
“It will also help reduce their reliance on producing latex or lump rubber,” she said.
She said that crip rubber contains more rubber and because of that it has a higher price than a piece of cup.
Regarding the Target project, Zuraida said it is an effort by the ministry to increase the income and competitiveness of small rubber farmers in the country.
Cooperatives and rubber traders can benefit from joining the scheme, she said.
The objective of the Target project is to shorten the rubber trade chain, reduce leakage, increase transparency in rubber transactions and strengthen smallholder unions through cooperatives.
In addition, she said, it can improve good agricultural practices and provide opportunities for smallholders to improve the value addition of their products by participating in the rubber processing industry.
Eligible rubber cooperatives and traders will receive technical support and financing.
“The ministry is very concerned about the issues related to rubber smallholders, especially the economic deficit they face, and is always looking for ways to help them increase their incomes and improve their standard of living,” he said. -she adds.
There are about 65,000 small rubber farmers in Kedah who contribute about 30% to the national rubber supply, which is the largest producer in the country.
Kedah has accumulated 93,000 ha of rubber plantations scattered mainly in Padang Terap, Sik, Baling and Kubang Pasu districts cultivated by smallholders.
Zuraida added that Target was one of the projects led by the ministry through the Malaysian Rubber Board to create a sustainable source of income for small rubber farmers by realizing an integrated commercial scale rubber supply value chain. .