Sunday, September 20

Sustaining prices a major challenge for pepper industry

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KUCHING: Sustainable pricing and development of the pepper industry remain the major concerns of the pepper community.

Despite seeing a positive growth for the pepper industry in the last three years, the production of pepper needs to be balanced by promoting demand, especially in the development of new products.

Chairperson of the International Pepper Community (IPC) Datin Paduka Nurmala Abd Rahim stated this at the opening ceremony of the 41st Session and Meetings of IPC here yesterday.

“The positive growth of the pepper industry in the last three years is reflected by strengthened global prices.

The current price, averaging at USD 5.74 per kilogramme, has to be sustained to ensure adequate income to the growers who are mostly small farmers,” she said in her speech.

She added that the increase of pepper prices recorded this year was mainly attributed to the decline in global pepper production as well as inventory reduction in consuming countries.

“A major reason for the declining production of pepper was due to pests and diseases in pepper gardens in almost all the producing countries.

In Vietnam, a virus infestation had occurred in some of the pepper gardens causing a decline in pepper yield and productivity,” said Nurmala who is also secretary-general for the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

Meanwhile, she also expressed her hope that IPC will continue to undertake activities to strengthen the pepper industry .

Also present at the opening ceremony was Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who officiated at the opening of the meeting.