Acute shortage of rubber seedlings
There are about 20,000 hectares of titled lands in Kadamaian, Kota Belud alone suitable for rubber plantation development but are left idle because of a lack of initiative and knowledge on the part of landowners, and the absence of sustainable efforts from the relevant agencies. Assistant Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Herbert Timbon Lagadan, made this observation toa group of visitors from the Association of Sabah Bumiputera Rubber Smallholders (PPKGBS) who paid him a courtesy call at his office here yesterday. Timbon said many landowners rely on state-owned Lembaga Industri Getah Sabah (LIGS) to develop and replant their lands, but LIGS itself has constraints in covering the whole State. “Even getting rubber clone seedlings is quite difficult. I myself as Kadamaian Assemblyman, have been waiting for my seedlings from LIGS to be distributed to rubber smallholders in Kadamaian. “Last year 1 managed to buy 70,000 rubber seedlings for distribution in Kadamaian. There is this very big demand for rubber clone seedlings but supply is short, and this is frustrating the smaliholders to be,” he said. Earlier, President of PPKGBS, Modily Bangali, told Timbon that there was an urgent need to ‘set up nurseries hi Sabah to propagate the high-yielding rubber done which is available from the Peninsular. “Our Association is ready to help set up rubber nurseries, but we need funds for physical infrastructures. We would want to work with LIGS and players in this industry because this would help pull thousands of hardcore poor rural families out of abject poverty,” Modily said.