THE Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC) is offering two incentives to the palm oil sector to ensure the sustainability of smallholders’ income sources.
These incentives are called the Oil Palm Integrated Farming Scheme (ITa) and the Agro Bank-MPOB Easy Financing Schemes.
Under ITa, oil palm planters who plant pineapples are eligible for incentives of RM7,000 per ha, while those who grow bananas, watermelon, corn and papayas receive RM3,000 per ha.
Meanwhile, the Agro Bank-MPOB Easy Financing Scheme offers loans of RM2,500 per ha up to RM16,250 with a repayment period of 24 months at a 2% interest rate. This scheme will be open to all smallholders who own 6.5ha of oil palm plantations or less.
MPIC Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said these incentives aim to encourage farmers to diversify their sources of income through cash crops and optimise the use of their land.
“This is in line with the government’s policy on expanding oil palm cultivation areas, with a planting limit of not more than 6.5 million ha,” she said in a statement today.
She added that the ministry is confident that this incentive can also boost the production of food resources and stabilise food security in the country.
Zuraida also mentioned that MPIC has been continuously working to defend the plight of smallholders with operational modernisation offers to ensure the long-term sustainability of income sources.
“These incentives and facilities are part of our continuous efforts to uplift the living standards of smallholders as well as to balance the dynamics of flora and fauna to ensure environmental sustainability.
“We are committed to defending the plight of smallholders with operational modernisation offers to ensure the long-term sustainability of income sources,” she added.
Applications for both schemes are available at any Tunas MPOB office nationwide. — by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic credit: mpic.gov.my