KOTA KINABALU, Nov 22 (Bernama) — The Sabah government will introduce the use of rubber in paving roads and ‘green tyres’ as a long-term strategy to address the issue of low rubber prices, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin.
Yahya, who is also Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said the move was also seen as potentially boosting rubber demand in the country as well as reducing exports to international markets, thereby shoring up flagging prices of the commodity in the future.
“The drop in rubber prices in the international market is due to the slowdown in world economic growth and the government is very concerned with the situation as it affects the income of smallholders and rubber tappers,” he said in reply to a question from Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (BN-Kiulu) at the state assembly sitting here today.
He said the international rubber price for rubber grade SMR 20 fell from RM9.53 per kilogramme in January 2017 to RM6.01 per kg in October.
Yahya said the state government was committed to addressing the issues faced by rubber smallholders in Sabah by allocating RM20 million in Budget 2018.