KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Rubber Industry Board will be increasing the rubber hectarage involving smallholders from the present 94,000 hectares to 130,000 hectares by the year 2020.
It will also be assisting 12,000 new smallholders in an effort to increase the production of rubber from the present 1,398 kg/per hectare/per annum to 2,000 kg/per hectare/per annum by the year 2020, said Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin in his speech during the Board’s 63th Anniversary dinner on Friday night.
“This will help garner an income of between RM3,000 and RM4,000 per month by the year 2020,” he said.
Additionally, the board is also targeting to increase the production of the Malaysia Rubber Standard (SMR) from 50,000 tonnes per annum to 80,000 tonnes per annum.
“It will also implement its Gana Agropolitan project in Kota Marudu, which is a poverty eradication programme involving 450 families,” Yahya said.
He also expressed his confidence in the board and said that he believed it will be able to achieve these aims by the year 2020, particularly after seeing the board’s excellent achievement in the last two years.
However, the board had experienced hardship from 2008 to 2010, facing various issues involving smallholders and a debt of RM85 million to shoulder.
“But these are past issues that have been addressed efficiently by the board,” Yahya said.
He added that the amendment in the Board’s enactment has allowed for efficient implementation of its functions.
“The cooperation between the board members and its management has also addressed pertinent issues such as lapsed payments to smallholders. These have been paid in full,” Yahya said.
According to Yahya, the board management implemented the planting of new rubber seedlings involving an area of 4,323 hectares, 2,160 hectares of which were replanted by smallholders involving RM40.6 million under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs).
In 2013, the board will undertake the development of 3,215 hectares with new rubber involving 1,016 smallholders. A total of 1,288 hectares will be replanted by 414 Serama smallholders.