New technology needed to spice up Sarawak’s pepper industry, says Fadillah

KUCHING: New technology and methods are needed to boost the pepper industry in Sarawak, says Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.


The Deputy Prime Minister said this included the use of new hybrid planting materials and greenhouses to increase production while reducing labour.


“We are also looking into whether farmers would still be planting on hill slopes or migrating to precision farming using new technology so that we can control the moisture,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house here on Tuesday (April 25).


Fadillah, who is Plantation and Commodities Minister, said good agriculture practices could help restore the industry to its glory days when Sarawak pepper was renowned and in high demand globally for its high quality.


“What we need to focus on is to make sure we increase production and help the existing farmers to migrate to modern technology for planting.


“Hopefully we can maintain and sustain the quality of Sarawak pepper and capture high-end markets, particularly in Europe,” he said.


As such, Fadillah said it was unfortunate that Sarawak pepper was being mixed with lower-quality pepper from Vietnam, according to market reports.


“This is risky because our pepper is of high quality and in high demand.


“If you mix it with a lower quality product, it will tarnish the image and eventually affect the marketing strategy and demand for Sarawak pepper,” he said.

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