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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani




Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani





RM100m disbursed to smallholders
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23: The RM100 million fund pledged by the FederalGovernment to help rubber and oil palm smallholders nationwide to improvetheir income was fully disbursed in 2001 and 2002.Agriculture Minister Datuk Effendi Norwawi handed out RM2.49 million inaid to 350 smallholders in Kuala Langat, Selangor, today, signifying thefull disbursement of the fund."This shows that the Government has fulfilled its promise to thesmallholders," he said.A total of 15,000 smallholders nationwide benefited from the fund,allocated through the ministry, which was announced by Deputy PrimeMinister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in March last year.The smallholders today were part of the 709 rubber and oil palmsmallholders in the State who received RM5 million aid.Effendi urged the smallholders to use their aid wisely, utilising moderntechniques to sustain their crops and their income.The fund was pledged by the Federal Government to aid smallholders aftermarket prices of commodities such as palm oil, rubber and coconut fell totheir lowest level.Several assistance schemes were also introduced by the Government asshort- and long-term measures to increase the smallholders' incomes.The Agriculture Ministry will be seeking an allocation of RM70 millionfrom the Federal Government for the same purpose next year for another10,000 smallholders nationwide.