On 25 November 2009, rubber smallholders in Batang Ai, Lubok Antu, Sarawak received rubber planting materials from Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities. Held at the Johnson Ili Longhouse, the event was part of the Honourable Minister’s Meet the Smallholders Programme.
It is hoped that by using quality rubber planting materials, the smallholders can increase the yield of their rubber holdings and in turn also increase their income. Currently, the number of Group Processing Centres in Sarawak is 139 centres with 3,127 processing machines. It is important to produce rubber of quality, said Tan Sri Bernard. By doing so, will also ensure a better income for rubber smallholders, he added.
Earlier, in his welcome speech, Mr Johnson, head of the Longhouse, said that the Programme is an indication of the concern and commitment of the Minister towards improving the lot of the smallholders in Sarawak especially in the Batang Ai, Lubik Antu area.