LITS 3 Scheme – Initial Funding to Enable Rubber Smallholders to Utilise Lits Technology Package
The Low Intensity Tapping System – (LITS) is a combination of length of tapping panel, for example, half spiral (1/2S) and quarter spiral (1/4S), tapping frequency, for example, alternate daily tapping system (d/2) and third daily tapping system (d/3), with the adoption and usage of yield stimulants, either gaseous stimulation or chemical stimulation with the objective of increasing land:man ratio as well as to increase production per tapping. This technology was introduced to rubber planters since the mid 1990s. It is evident that the LITS system has effectively solved the problem of shortage of skilled tappers without jeopardizing estate or smallholding/farm production.
A high initial outlay of capital is required to adopt the LITS technology. Many of the smallholders cannot afford to invest to enable them to adopt the technology. The Government realising their predicament has therefore introduced a scheme, known as the LITS Scheme, allocating a specific amount of fund to assist smallholders to adopt the technology package recommended by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB).
The LITS 3 Scheme is a continuation of the LITS 1 and LITS 2 Schemes where the Federal Government allocated funding worth RM180 million. LITS 1 Scheme was allocated with a fund of RM100 million in the form of a 100% grant administered by the Miniustry of Rural Development. LITS 2 Scheme was allocated with a fund of RM80 million to the then Ministry of Primary Industries which was then chanelled to Bank Pertanian Malaysia (BPM) as the administrator of the fund. Unfortunately both the schemes did not give a good impact on the technologies introduced. This could have been due to the fact that the implementation mechanism overlooked the elements of research and monitoring. In view of the availability of the balance allocated for LITS 2 Scheme, MRB put up a proposal and was approved a fund totaling RM33.8 million by the Government, known as LITS 3 Scheme. This allocation is managed by the MRB utilising a new mechanism where the implementation gives emphasis on the elements of research and development to achieve the objectives outlined. The Management concept of Planning, Database, Implementation and Monitoring is given emphasis in the implementation of LITS 3 Scheme.
To ensure proper control and implementation of LITS 3 Scheme in accordance to the management elements drawn up an organisational structure has been established. A LITS 3 Scheme Main Committee was established on 11 December 2006 to make decisions on policies and principles of implementation. This Committee is headed by the Chief Executive Officer of MRB and comprises of members of implementing agencies such as RISDA, FELDA, JPS, LIGS, FELCRA, KESEDAR as well as from the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and Ministry of Rural Development. Another two committees have also been established to implement the LITS 3 Scheme, namely, Implementation/Technical Committee and Participant Committee.