SABAK BERNAM: Beginning March 1, an additional RM50 incentive per metric tonne of paddy will be distributed to farmers nationwide, says Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Mininster Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said the money would be given to farmers as an input incentive for production which was expected to involve more than 2.8 million metric tons of paddy.
“The payments are supposed to be distributed to farmers in March, but we will look into making ‘backdated’ payments for the harvesting season this time, beginning January,” he told reporters after officiating the Sungai Besar District Farmers Organisation (PPK) 1Malaysia People’s Agrobazaar at Wisma PPK Sungai Besar here today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when presenting the recalibration of Budget 2016 announced that the government had allocated an additional RM50 in cash per metric tonne of paddy produced as input incentive, to continue to support farmers, and encourage more production.
Ahmad Shabery said farmers would now benefit from a better, more uniform selling price for paddy at RM1,200 per metric tonne, as well as enjoy subsidies of RM300 per metric tonne of paddy, compared to RM248 previously.
On the PPK Sungai Besar 1Malaysia People’s Agrobazaar which began operating last October, he said the government’s initiative provided an opportunity to small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) to increase revenue, by selling various types of agro food, at reasonable prices.
The premises, based on a mini-market concept set up under the agriculture and agro-based industry ministry, is part of the government’s initiative to sell various goods at reasonable prices, similar to that of the 1Malaysia People’s Store (KR1M).
The 1Malaysia People’s Agrobazaar concept is a growth platform in which farmers, fishermen and livestock breeders market their products directly to consumers, bypassing the middleman.