BANGKOK, Feb 27 — The Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority, or Risda, wants member countries of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) — Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia — to come to an agreement on fixing the price of the commodity.
Risda chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif said rubber smallholders want the see the price of rubber continue to rise like other commodities so that they would have more income.
“It is our hope that world rubber producers like us come together and discuss the floor price of rubber so that we can control the supply and hence help increase the income of smallholders,” he told reporters here today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in meeting his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-o-cha during his official visit to the country on Friday, raised the idea of controlling the supply of rubber among the member countries so that it benefits them as well as rubber smallholders.
Mohd Salim welcomed the suggestion, saying the meeting between the two prime ministers has opened a new opportunity for rubber smallholders in the country to control the price and supply of the commodity.
Malaysia ranks seventh among rubber-producing countries with the production of 469,000 tonnes in 2021, a decline of 8.7 per cent compared to the 514,702 tonnes in 2020.
The smallholders sector is the main contributor of natural rubber production with 90 per cent, generating income of RM2.28 billion for scrap rubber compared with smallholders who produce latex worth RM3.52 billion.
Under the 12th Malaysia Plan, Risda implemented the Intensive Latex Scheme (SIL) to encourage smallholders to produce latex so that the country depends less on latex imports.
SIL is expected to increase the income of smallholders by 30 per cent compared to those who produce scrap rubber. — Bernama