Additional Economic Activities Increases Income Of Rubber Smallholders

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Datuk Junz Wong (second from right) with Steven Rantin (third from right) and Wolten Guntagil (third from left), participants of the additional economic activity programme (AET) implemented by Sabah Rubber Industry Board (LIGS).

BONGAWAN: In an early morning visit to Bongawan, Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong said the implementation of LIGS’s additional economic activity programme for rubber tappers have begun last year.

“LIGS’s additional economic activity programmes have successfully been implemented as part of the initiatives to increase the income level of rubber smallholders.”

“I visited Wandi Warni from Kampung Jawa. He’s a participant of the bee hive houses program from LIGS’s initiative.”

“I also visited Steven Rantin and Wolten Guntagil from Kg Ulu Lumagar who are participants of the initiatives. They plant black pepper, ginger, pineapple and gourds under the additional economic activity programme.”

Junz explained, the additional economic activity programme implemented by LIGS since 2019 is an initiative stipulated in the Sabah Agriculture Blueprint 2021 – 2030 via the LIGS masterplan, a strategic plan by the Warisan Sabah government to sustain rubber smallholders’ income.

Datuk Junz Wong (middle) and Wandi Warni’s wife (left) at bee hive houses program from LIGS’s initiative.

“World price for rubber has plummeted. This is beyond our control. But on the part of the Sabah government, we are doing what we can.”

“One of the initiatives is through additional economy activities. This 2020 we will implement even more programmes including free birdnest houses, honey harvesting, chilli, blackpepper, ginger and fruits planting like pineapple to help small rubber smallholders.”

He added, contrary to claims from the Opposition, Sabahans are enjoying RM2.80 per kilogram for rubber sales.

“The minimum price of rubber in Sabah is RM2.80 per kilogram and This is 30 cents higher than West Malaysia price thus the rumours that the rubber price in Sabah is lower than West Malaysia is NOT true.

He concluded, “that is why it is important for Sabahans via rubber smallholders to unite behind our Chief Minister, so that we can have a louder voice in fighting for the rights that belong to Sabah.”