Thursday, September 28

Uggah: Pepper export earnings up 11pct


SRI AMAN: The government’s target to raise export earnings for the pepper industry to RM650 million by 2020 is achievable, if the increase in its annual growth is anything to go by.

Last year, the segment contributed RM273.3 million to the nation’s exports gains – up 11.6 per cent from RM245million recorded in 2012.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah also noted that in export volume, it grew 14.3 per cent to 12,015 tonnes last year versus 10,599 tonnes a year before.

“Such growth have contributed to improving the living standards of smallholders, who pioneered the sector,” the minister said at the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) awards presentation at Hotel Seri Simanggang here yesterday.

According to Uggah, the government also plays a role in strengthening the commodity industrial development in the state through the National Commodity Policy 2011-2020.

For the pepper industry, it targets to increase export income to RM650million by 2020 and to this end, Uggah’s ministry is committed on expanding pepper planting areas to 20,110 hectares, with a targeted national production to 42,000 tonnes, by then.

Held to commemorate Innovation Day 2014, the event yesterday saw 28 MPB staff receiving Excellent Service Awards while 86 being honoured with the Loyal Service Awards under Gold Category (30 years of service) and Platinum Category (35 years of service).

Another 14 retired or retiring personnel were presented with the Jiwa Murni Award.

In addition, Uggah also announced allocation of RM30,000 to MPB for next year.

Among those present at the function were MPB chairman Datuk Henry Sum Agong and the board’s director-general Datuk Grunsin Ayom.