Putrajaya to provide RM164.7m aid for Risda rubber smallholders

Close to 300,000 rubber smallholders in the country can expect to receive RM164.7 million soon to weather the poor harvest this year. — Reuters pic
Close to 300,000 rubber smallholders in the country can expect to receive RM164.7 million soon to weather the poor harvest this year. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Close to 300,000 rubber smallholders in the country can expect to receive RM164.7 million soon to weather the poor harvest this year.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet today decided on the special allocation for the rubber smallholders who are struggling with living costs due to poor yield during the rainy reason.

“The Finance Ministry will channel the provision for 2018 amounting to RM164,783,400 to the Economic Affairs Ministry as the ministry regulating Risda,” he said in a statement.

Each recipient will get RM600, which will be disbursed in two stages. Half will be by end of the month and the remaining RM300 will be handed out early next year.

“This will benefit 274,639 rubber smallholders nationwide registered with Risda,” Lim said.

Of that figure, 255,997 are rubber smallholders who are also landowners while 18,642 are non-landowner rubber tappers working on plots smaller than 2.5 hectares.

Risda rubber smallholders in Sarawak who number 58,048 form the bulk of the aid recipients, followed by their peers in Kelantan who number 49,328 and Kedah which has 45,297.

The rubber smallholders are the second group of farmers in the country to receive a special allocation from the government.

Lim announced RM77 million to Felda settlers yesterday amid a critical cash flow shortage faced by the state plantation agency.

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