Ministry to focus on strategies to increase pepper production, says Fadillah
KUCHING (April 25): The Ministry of Plantation and Commodities will be focusing on strategies to increase the production of Sarawak pepper, said its minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof.
He said these would include introducing new technologies and methods of planting as well as stronger research and development.
“We are looking at getting young farmers to be involved in pepper-planting, not only to produce seedlings but also apply new methods such as hybrid planting materials.
“Whether we will still be planting peppers on the hill slope or migrating to precision farming using new technologies and less labour intensive, are things we are looking at,” he told a press conference at his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house here today.
The deputy prime minister said a new chairman and director-general had also been appointed to lead the Malaysia Pepper Board to chart a new direction and strategy for the pepper industry.
“We have appointed a new director general as the previous one has just retired. A new chairman has also been appointed but we will announce the name soon.
“Hopefully by then, they will chart a new direction our pepper industry will take and return to its glory days,” he said.
He said Sarawak pepper has always been renowned globally for its quality but unfortunately it had been mixed with pepper from Vietnam.
“Based on reports, certain parties had imported pepper from Vietnam, and mixed them with Sarawak pepper. This is bad because our pepper is always of high quality and greatly demanded in the world.
Earlier, Fadillah and his wife Datin Sri Ruziah Mohd Tahir welcomed Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang to their open house held at CIDB Convention Centre in Petra Jaya.
Among other notable guests included Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister in the Premier of Sarawak’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, and Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu.