KUALA NERANG: The Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) is allocating over RM114 million next year to provide an ecosystem for rural entrepreneurs to expand markets and raise income.
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (pix) said the allocation was to support the development of 64,000 rural entrepreneurs under KPLB nationwide.
He said the Mini Carnival for Rural Entrepreneurs (Mini KUD) is one of the KPLB’s initiatives to empower the existing ecosystem for rural entrepreneurs.
“This programme provides a platform for all parties involved in the entrepreneurial chain, including manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors to forge a strategic cooperation that includes expanding the business network.
“Through this programme, the KPLB will also be able to gather information and feedback from rural entrepreneurs on the effectiveness of the entrepreneurship enhancement programme implemented by agencies in the KPLB,” he told a media conference after officiating the closing of the Padang Terap Mini KUD here today.
Mahdzir said nearly all agencies under the KPLB had specific programmes for the development of rural entrepreneurs, including Majlis Amanah Rakyat, FELCRA, Community Development Department (KEMAS), Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) and Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA).
The other agencies involved include the Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah), South Kelantan Development Authority (Kesedar), South East Johor Development Authority (Kejora), Kedah Regional Development Authority (KEDA) and Penang Regional Development Authority (PERDA).
Meanwhile, Mahdzir said the three-day Padang Terap Mini KUD, which began on Thursday (Oct 27), recorded a sales value of more than RM200,000, with the attendance of over 30,000 visitors.
“If we take into account the business matching sessions, the overall value recorded is RM450,000,” he said.
He said the Mini KUD was an important element as it acted as a platform to promote facilities and initiatives provided by the KPLB and its agencies in assisting rural entrepreneurs to promote their products.
“This programme is also a medium to create market access for rural entrepreneurs’ products and services to wholesalers, distributors and buyers as well as increase the competitiveness and marketability of rural products and explore opportunities for a bigger market,” he said.
Mahdzir also said the groups targeted for the mini KUD were rural entrepreneurs who had received guidance from the ministry, agencies and potential entrepreneurs who need advice in increasing productivity and business expansion.
More than 100 entrepreneurs participated in the Padang Terap mini KUD, selling food and drinks, women, men and children’s clothes, beauty and health products, handicrafts and agricultural products.
At the event, Mahdzir also presented the Rural Entrepreneurship Enhancement Support (SPKLB) grant to 1,032 rural entrepreneurs worth over RM5.1 million, while 11 entrepreneurs received assistance in the provision of rural stalls and equipment under the Income Enhancement Programme (PPP) worth RM110,000.
Also present were Deputy Rural Development Minister II Datuk Hasbi Habibollah, KPLB deputy secretary-general (policy) Datuk Che Murad Sayang Ramjan and KPLB deputy secretary-general (development) Mas Rizal Mohd Hilmi.-Bernama