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KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) is calling on eligible oil palm smallholders nationwide to apply for incentives offered under the ministry, the Oil Palm Integrated Farming Scheme (ITa) and the Agro Bank-MPOB Easy Financing Scheme.
Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said under ITa, oil palm planters who plant pineapples are eligible for incentives of RM7,000 per hectare, while those who grow bananas, watermelon, corn and papayas receive RM3,000 per hectare.
“This incentive aims to encourage farm owners to diversify their sources of income through cash crops and optimise the use of their land,” she said in a statement.
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 hectares.
This intermittent planting can also improve the health of the ecosystem and soil fertility, thus increasing the yield of palm oil production.
The ministry is confident that this incentive can also boost the production of food resources and stabilise food security in the country, she said.
The minister said those interested can get the application forms from any TUNAS MPOB offices nationwide and application is opened only to those who own 6.5 hectares of oil palm plantations or less.
Meanwhile, Zuraida said under the Agro Bank-MPOB Easy Financing Schemes, smallholders can apply for loans to purchase oil palm seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides for their plantation.
The smallholders can apply for loans worth RM2,500 per hectare up to RM16,250, with a repayment period of 24 months at two per cent interest rate.
The loan is to give smallholders a leg-up in their business, said the minister.
“These incentives and facilities are part of the ministry’s continuous efforts to uplift the living standards of smallholders as well as to balance the dynamics of flora and fauna to ensure environmental sustainability.
“The ministry is committed to continuing to defend the plight of smallholders with operational modernisation offers to ensure the long-term sustainability of income sources,” said Zuraida.
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