Local commodities continue to spearhead nation’s growth
by Alan Dexter firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on August 1, 2012, Wednesday
KUCHING: Courses introduced by the Institute of Malaysian Plantation and Commodities (IMPAC) will continue to enhance human capital and support the development of plantation companies and are vital to realise the government’s vision to make the commodity sector a major engine of growth.
Yesterday, according to the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the government, through the National Commodity Policy 2011-2020, was aiming for commodity export revenue to reach RM242.6 billion by 2020, with the average growth of 7.9 per cent.
“In 2011, Malaysian commodity export stood at RM141.2 billion, an increase of 23.7 per cent compared with 2010, at RM114.1 billion.
“I hope this growth trend can continue in the years to come to catapult this sector to a higher level,” he added.
With regards to the pepper industry, he noted that the Malaysia Pepper Board would beef up production by increasing its planting area to 17,000 hectares by 2015.
To realise the goal, the government had approved RM3.2 million to plant pepper in new areas which covered 227 hectares.
“Smallholders keen to plant pepper will be given RM14,000 per hectare as incentives,” he said.
In addition, Dompok said that pepper growing was currently focused in Sarawak, with 14,453 hectares, or 98 per cent out of the total 14,738 hectares nationwide.
The country produced 25,600 tonnes of pepper last yearcomprising 80 per cent black pepper.
On pepper exports, he said that 14,201 tonnes worth RM285 million were exported last year, an increase of one per cent from 2010.
Malaysia’s pepper was exported to more than 50 countries, primarily to Japan, accounting for 28 per cent last year, followed by China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.
“To fulfil the pepper demands of importing countries, the government aims to produce 31,000 tonnes by 2015. This is a big increase from 25,000 tonnes, which was recorded last year.”
Additionally, IMPAC also offered cocoa planting technology courses to participants who were involved in cocoa planting activities to increase their skills.
“Today, I would like to highlight that the government is encouraging cocoa plantation activity, especially for small farmers.
The government aims at cultivating 2,000 hectares per year until 2015. An incentive of RM8,000 per hectare has been introduced in the form of agricultural input and land clearing.
“I would like to thank everyone for the support to increase competitiveness of the commodity industry in Malaysia,” said Dompok.
He urged every agency under his ministry to work hard to increase the research and development activities, as well as strengthen innovation to increase the value of the local commodities market.