Call for govt to lever­age on Nash co­op­er­a­tives

New Straits Times - - Business | News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Small­hold­ers (Nash) has called on the gov­ern­ment to lever­age on its mem­bers’ co­op­er­a­tives to im­ple­ment ru­ral de­vel­op­ment.

Yes­ter­day, Nash pres­i­dent Datuk Aliasak Am­bia said “the gov­ern­ment has to prop­erly con­sider the co­op­er­a­tives as a ve­hi­cle for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment”.

“Through the co­op­er­a­tives, oil palm and rub­ber small­hold­ers are bet­ter able to lever­age on economies of scale in their busi­nesses,” he said.

Nash mem­bers are part of sev­eral co­op­er­a­tives all over the coun­try, in­clud­ing the Kop­erasi Per­modalan Felda.

Be­fore small­hold­ers’ co­op­er­a­tives were es­tab­lished, oil palm and rub­ber small­hold­ers had very low acreage. To­day, their land ar­eas are com­pa­ra­ble to es­tates owned by big plan­ta­tion firms.

In view of the coun- try cel­e­brat­ing its 100th an­niver­sary of com­mer­cial oil palm plant­ing, Aliasak noted that small­hold­ers’ in­ter­ests were mainly fo­cused on up­stream ac­tiv­i­ties of tend­ing to the trees.

“The gov­ern­ment, in giv­ing due recog­ni­tion to small­hold­ers’ co­op­er­a­tives, would fa­cil­i­tate our mem­bers to in­vest in busi­nesses through­out the palm oil and rub­ber value chain,” he said.

“We be­lieve small­hold­ers are bet­ter able to con­trib­ute to the econ­omy, and in the longer term be part of the Trans­for­masi Na­sional 2050 pro­gramme via the co­op­er­a­tives plat­form,” he added.

Last week, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak an­nounced an ad­di­tional RM510 mil­lion oil palm re­plant­ing bud­get for in­de­pen­dent small­hold­ers from now un­til end-2020.

Aliasak noted that small­hold­ers were grate­ful for the ad­di­tional al­lo­ca­tion as it would help ease their fi­nan­cial bur­den and raise na­tional pro­duc­tiv­ity at the fields. Ooi Tee Ching

Datuk Aliasak Am­bia

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