Risda to pay RM42m dividend for planting programmes

The dividend will be distributed to 31,436 smallholders who are registered with Risda

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by BERNAMA

RUBBER Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) will be distributing RM42.7 million in dividend payout for the new large-scale crop planting and commercial replanting programmes this year.

The agency said the dividend will be distributed to 31,436 smallholders who are registered with Risda.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad said about RM12.8 million from the dividend will be allocated to 16,080 smallholders who are in the new crop programme, while the remaining RM29.9 million to 15,356 smallholders for the replanting programme.

“The payout this year is 3.5% higher than the payout in 2018 as the fresh fruit bunches prices improved between September and December last year, which was at RM442 per tonne compared to RM365 per tonne in 2018,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The new crop planting programme was established in the 70s for the local rubber industry, which covers some 19,306ha of estates.

The programme is aimed at increasing the wages of smallholders who own land sized below 2.83ha through a yearly dividend.

The smallholders are being given a share in the programme according to the size of the contributed land.

Meanwhile, the commercial replanting is managed by Risda Plantation Sdn Bhd, which combine small farms into bigger areas of more than 40ha.

“The payout will also improve the economic stability of smallholders through the current Movement Control Order following Covid-19 and the upcoming festive celebration.

“At the same time, Risda also continues several of the development programmes totalling RM521 million for smallholders to enhance their earnings, which include 550,000 farmers,” Abd Latiff said.