BALING: Some 80% of the smallholders nationwide have not yet applied for the Rubber Production Incentive (IPG), introduced by the government to help them during the drop in the commodity prices.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the government is currently looking into factors that contribute to the issue.
“When the farmgate price for cupclumps or scrap rubber falls below RM2.50 per kg, IPG will be automatically activated.
“However, only between 10 and 20% of the smallholders applied for the IPG,” he told reporters after visiting a rubber collection centre at Kampung Luar, here today.
He added that based on the current rubber prices, the total amount of the IPG payments should be around RM500 million, however, only RM100 million had been paid so far.
He said one of the reasons as to why so few of them made the IPG claim was that they thought the process was difficult as well as requiring them to go to the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) office, which is far from their home.
“I’m looking into ways on how to improve the claim process,” he added.
At present, there are over 400,000 smallholders and rubber tappers in the country with most of them is in the lower-income B40 group, said Mohd Khairuddin.
MRB was reported to have activated the IPG for March 2020, and smallholders may apply for the IPG payments from April 1-30, 2020. - Bernama