KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Efforts to empower rural community development through commodity development programmes would continue to be the focus of Budget 2022.

Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said for the purpose, an allocation of RM2.5 billion was set aside with RM1.3 billion of the amount given to Felda involving rehabilitation packages and settlers’ development

“Apart from that, RM495 million is also provided to Felcra participants and RM699 million for smallholder development in the rubber industry under Risda.

“The government will also be implementing the National Rubber Industry Transformation Programme aimed at consolidating rubber smallholders, and entrepreneurs as well as small cooperatives into a consortium which is bigger so that it is capable of processing scrap rubber into crepe rubber,” he said when tabling Budget 2022 at Dewan Rakyat today.

Besides that, Tengku Zafrul said the government would also be introducing and expanding the use of RRIM Hydrobest technology to smallholders through a matching grant to help raise the socioeconomic standard of smallholders in the B40 category.

He said the government also agreed to continue with the Monsoon Season Assistance to lighten the subsistence burden of 320,000 smallholders who lost their source of income during the monsoon season with an allocation of RM190 million.

According to him, an allocation of RM5 million would also be channelled via the budget next year to provide takaful protection to all Area Farmers Organisations (PPK) members nationwide under the Farmers Smart Card Takaful Protection Scheme.

“To support the oil palm industry, the government is allocating RM35 million to implement the Oil Palm Smallholders Replanting Stimulation Scheme and RM20 million in the effort to combat anti-palm oil campaign at international level,” he said. — Bernama