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 Local

Rubber buoyant prices boost earnings

21st January, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Buoyant prices for rubber in the international commodity market have boosted the monthly earnings of smallholders in Sabah from RM2,500 to RM7,000.

The international price of Standard Malaysian Rubber 20 (SMR 20) increased from a low of RM4.70 cents per kilogram early last year to RM9.68 per kilogramme today, due to a short supply in the world market because of floods in Southern Thailand.

As a result, rubber prices by smallholders in Sabah went up from RM1.50 per kilogram, for cup lumps with 50 per cent dry rubber content, to RM3.75 per kilogramme as of today.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin welcomed this latest development and was pleased for rubber smallholders in Sabah.

Yahya who is also Minister of Agriculture & Food Industry reminded smallholders that the government had a social safety net policy in place for them known as the Rubber Production Incentive (IPG).

The IPG is paid when the farmgate price falls below RM2.20 per kilogramme for cup lumps or when the international SMR20 price is below RM5.50 per kilogramme.

In the event that the price of cup lumps is RM1.50 per kilogramme, the government tops up the difference of 70 sen per kilogramme.

The Federal government has paid RM22,001,182 to rubber smallholders in Sabah under this programme from September 2015 to October 2016 through the Sabah Rubber Industry Board.

A total of 13,426 smallholders received benefit from this policy. For the year 2017, the Federal government has allocated RM65,500,000 to further replant and plant 3,856 hectares with rubber and to maintain planted areas through the Sabah Rubber Industry Board.

A total of 1,285 additional smallholders will receive assistance in 2017. Yahya thanked the Federal government especially Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak for assisting rubber smallholders in Sabah during the difficult times. – PR

   
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