Willie (third left) talking to the recipients of the pepper planting aid after the presentation ceremony, while Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) director general Stanley Liew Joon Kong (third right) looks on. Photo: Ramidi Subari

By Sarah Hafizah Chandra & Nur Shazreena Ali

KUCHING: The Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) will continue to empower the pepper industry and implement more programmes to encourage target groups to venture into pepper cultivation.

MPB director-general Stanley Liew Joo Kong said that the programmes will focus on providing exposure to the target groups on how production of high-quality peppers can produce more lucrative results.

“Besides strengthening the upstream sector, we also want to focus our efforts in developing the pepper-based downstream sector.

“This includes diversifying the use of pepper at the industry level and developing entrepreneurs through programmes that provide exposure on the potential of pepper market that can be explored,” he said during the presentation of incentives to pepper farmers at the MPB office Jalan Utama on Monday (Sept 28).

Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Willie Mongin representing the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, was also present at the ceremony.

Liew said that despite competition from other commodities, the pepper industry has contributed significantly to the country’s economy and its existence should not be taken lightly.

“It is not an easy journey especially with the existence of other commodities, but the pepper commodity continues to strive till this day despite the competition.

“Our peppers are exported to and marketed in many developed countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China as well as some parts of Europe,” he explained.

Besides that, Liew said that MBP also intended to expand pepper plantation while at the same time boosting the yield of pepper crops throughout Malaysia.

Liew added that the efforts undertaken by the government through MPB will not only ensure that pepper crops continue to have lucrative returns but also able to improve the socio-economic status of pepper farmers especially in the rural areas.

“In the long run, all of the efforts undertaken by the government through MPB will be able to produce high returns for pepper crops and most importantly improve the socio-economic status of pepper farmers in the rural areas.

“In order to achieve this, MPB needs the support from all parties involved because it cannot be implemented in silo,” he added