ISKANDAR PUTERI,. The Agriculture Ministry has identified pineapple as an cash crop for oil palm and rubber as part of the government’s efforts to increase the income of the growers.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said pineapples had the potential to provide good returns to the farmers and operators and it has been dubbed the nation’s new income source.
The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Department of Agriculture have been asked to conduct studies on the soil-profiling in Felda areas for the growing of pineapples.
“We will study the soil profiling first before making a decision on what will be the cash crop which we can give to help Felda,” he told reporters after visiting food manufacturer Tuzra Marketing here today.
At present, he said, the ministry was in the process of identifying the selected Felda settlements.
“After this, I think before the end of this year, we will be able to conduct several pilot projects in selected Felda areas.
“We want to be fast, we do not want to waste time as it is important for us to increase the income of the Felda families,” Salahuddin said.
He added that planting pineapples as a cash crop was in line with the demand to increase pineapple plantations especially for MD2 pineapples.
Salahuddin said next year’s target for MD2 pineapples was targeted to be 5,500 hectares compared to 2,032 hectares in 2017. — Bernama