KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities has asked rubber smallholders in Kedah to improve the quality their produce and income by getting involved and supporting various programmes implemented through the Malaysian Rubber Board.

The ministry said Kedah was one of the largest rubber-growing states in Malaysia with an area of ​​93,000 hectares cultivated by 68,370 smallholders.

Among the projects carried out by the government for smallholders is the Rubber Industry Transformation Project (TARGET) -- a development project for Crip Rubber Processing Centre clusters nationwide which will be introduced to the upstream rubber industry.

“This project as a whole will be able to transform the smallholding sector by realising an integrated value chain of commercial-scale rubber supply through a group processing approach and profit-sharing at the level of smallholders, cooperatives and entrepreneurs,“ the ministry said in a statement today.

Besides improving the quality of rubber produced, the ministry said the project would be able to increase the income of the groups and further ensure the supply of quality rubber to the country's rubber product manufacturing industry.

Smallholders are also encouraged to renew the Rubber Transaction Authority Permit (PAT-G) card, which is a smallholder registration card, not later than Dec 31, 2021.

“Through this card, qualified smallholders can receive assistance and incentives provided by the government such as Rubber Production Incentive from time to time,“ the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin(pix) held a dialogue with 150 smallholders in Kampung Charok Kelian, Baling, Kedah in conjunction with her two-day official visit to Kedah and Perlis starting yesterday.-Bernama