TARGET programme launched to increase rubber smallholders’ income

Rubber company transformation project is one of the efforts by the ministry to increase involvement of smallholders exploring new opportunities in this chain

by TMR / pic by TMR FILE

MINISTER of Plantation Companies and Commodities (KPPK) Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) has launched the TARGET Programme aimed to help increase more smallholders’ involvement in the rubber production chain.

TARGET or rubber company transformation project is one of the efforts by the ministry to increase involvement of smallholders exploring new opportunities in this chain.

“The ministry is indeed concerned about issues related to rubber smallholders especially in the economic gap they face and always thinking of ways to help increase income and improve their standard of living.” said Zuraida after officiating the groundbreaking ceremony of the next Crepe Rubber Processing Centre in Padang Terap, Kedah yesterday.

Through the TARGET Programme, agencies under KPPK such as the Malaysia Rubber Board (MRB) and the Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) can help in providing technical support and funding to organisations that are eligible to participate in it.

Crepe rubber that can be sold at a higher price value is one new alternative for rubber smallholders in diversifying their source of income, according to MRC in the same statement.

Also present during the ceremony was the industry, plantation and community committee chairman and Kedah Exco Azman Nasrudin, MRB chairman Lee Chin Cheh, MRC chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi and MRC CEO Nor Hizwan Ahmad.

“With the opening of this rubber processing centre, it is hoped to be able to help create employment opportunities for those in need.

Commitment from local NGOs also helped bridge the gap economy between the upstream and downstream sectors of the country’s rubber industry.” Daroyah said.