Deputy minister of Primary Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng has made it his mission to find the best way to help smallholders.
To this end, he will conduct dialogues with them across the country to listen to their plight.
Wee, who is Tanjung Piai MP, said the dialogues were important to reach out to smallholders to find out their needs.
“I have conducted the first dialogue and received many comments and suggestions on how to improve the welfare of smallholders.
“The issues they brought up in the session will be channelled to the ministry and we will find ways to improve their welfare, ” he said.
He said this in a press conference after meeting with a group of smallholders from Pontian in a session that lasted about an hour and a half.
Wee said among issues that the farmers brought up during the discussion included the need to bring back subsidies previously given during the Barisan Nasional administration.
“They have expressed their hope for the return of the subsidies that was stopped under the previous Federal Government.
“I will inform the ministry of their plight and try my level best to ensure they receive the assistance they deserve, ” he said.
He also urged smallholders to get their Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as soon as possible.
“There are at least 5,000 smallholders here but only about 100 have received the certificate.
“We hope this dialogue will allow us to increase awareness about the MSPO and ensure more smallholders will apply for it, ” he said.
Wee said the dialogue sessions would be carried out on a smaller scale in the future because of the Covid-19 outbreak and would follow all advice given by Health Ministry to ensure safety and security of attendees.
The government announced a series of measures, including the suspension of all activities involving the public and issued a movement control order that took effect yesterday.