Ministry allocates RM10m for rural B40 community

PETALING JAYA: The Rural Development Ministry has allocated RM10 million for an Income Enhancement Programme for the rural community as well as ensure food supplies for the country.

Its Deputy Minister I Datuk Sri Abdul Rahman Mohamad (pix) said the concept of the programme under the ministry’s agencies will be developed and include strategies to boost food production.

“Currently, the programme is more focused on providing assistance in the form of machinery, equipment, raw materials and guidance to members of the rural B40 community to venture into businesses and entrepreneurship to increase their incomes and lift them out of poverty.

“The government is currently engaged in increasing food production to ensure food security in the country. Therefore, the Income Enhancement Programme will be used as a mechanism to ensure that the rural community also ventures into agriculture, fisheries and livestock production.”

Abdul Rahman said at present the programme is more focused on small-scale businesses such as food and beverage sales as well as services such as tailoring, barbershops, spas and women’s beauty enterprises.

“For the B40 rural community involved in agriculture, fisheries and livestock production, our latest initiatives have been expanded to assist them to produce on a larger scale.

“For example, poultry farmers can expand their chicken coops to increase production. Vegetable farmers can use more sophisticated machines and equipment to increase yields, which can then be marketed to the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority or sold directly.”

Abdul Rahman said his ministry, through the Kedah Regional Development Authority, had allocated RM800,000 for the programme in Kedah and will continue to play its role in planning and implementing integrated developments through various comprehensive programmes to help improve living standards and the socio-economic status of rural communities.

He added that agencies under the ministry will continue to look at other approaches to ensure rural communities are protected and given priority through various large and small-scale projects.