Sarawak sets aside RM60m for Covid-hit oil palm, pepper farmers

Deputy Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the financial aid is to lighten the farmers’ burden due to the economic impact of Covid-19 and motivate them to increase production.— Bernama pic
Deputy Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the financial aid is to lighten the farmers’ burden due to the economic impact of Covid-19 and motivate them to increase production.— Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Aug 24 — Oil palm and pepper smallholders in Sarawak can expect to receive RM60 million in total soon from the state government to buy fertilisers for their crops.

Deputy Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the financial aid is to lighten the farmers’ burden due to the economic impact of Covid-19 and motivate them to increase production.

“Their income has been affected by the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic and the unstable prices of the two commodities,” Uggah told reporters after handing over the allocation to Permanent Secretary to the state Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Edwin Abit and the state Agriculture director Alvin Chai.

Uggah, who is also the state’s second minister of finance and state minister of agriculture, native nand and regional development, said the fertiliser fund will be distributed to the farmers in phases from October by their respective district Agriculture and the Area Farmer’s Organisation offices.

He said there are about 58,000 pepper and oil palm smallholders in the state and each of them will receive 12 bags of fertilisers.

Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority general manager Joseph Blandoi and Richard Rapu, a political secretary to the chief minister, witnessed the presentation.

Uggah also handed over a state government grant of RM8 million from the state government to the Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF).

The grant, promised by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg last year, is to finance the development of DCF’s two nine-storey office towers — Dayak Cultural Foundation and Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry — Ong Tiang Swee Road.

Uggah handed over the cheque for the amount to DCF’s Finance and Property Manager Stanley Linggoh at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.

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