KOTA MARUDU (Feb 24): The government has approved an interest-free easy loan scheme of RM100,000 for Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperatives (KPSM) to provide them with working capital to buy and sell fresh fruit bunches (FFB), said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim.
She said for starters, 10 such cooperatives had been selected to receive the loan based on their excellent operational and administrative performance.
“If the repayment by each of them goes smoothly, the ministry intends to extend the scheme to other KPSM that demonstrate excellent operational and administrative performance. This will help boost their working capital and business capability.
“Besides the government, cooperatives can also receive financial aid from the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM). Therefore, interested KPSM can obtain information of available financing being offered through nearby SKM offices or by contacting the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in the state,” she said at the launch of the KPSM Kota Marudu Weighing Centre here today.
To help in the country's palm oil industry development, the government had implemented various programmes to raise the productivity and income of smallholders, Kok noted.
“In this regard, the government has taken the initiative to encourage KPSM to bring together smallholders under one registered organisation in order to safeguard common interests, especially in raising farm productivity and their socioeconomic status.
“Among KPSM's main activities are the sale and purchase of FFB supplied by smallholders at the weighing centres. They also provide agricultural inputs as well as FFB harvesting and farm management services to the smallholders. The profits from the business will be returned to cooperative members through dividends and rebates in line with the government's objective of enhancing smallholders’ productivity and income,” she added.
She also urged more smallholders to register as KPSM members to obtain the benefits via cooperative activities.
KPSM Kota Marudu was established on March 28, 2018, with 70 members. The cooperative began trading FFB in August 2019 and its FFB sales had reached 5,319.04 tonnes as of January 2020.