Get help from pepper board, farmers advised

The recipients of the assistance vouchers.

KUCHING: Pepper farmers are urged to apply for assistance from the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB).

Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Willie Mongin said pepper farmers and stakeholders must be actively involved in order to contribute to the country’s plantation and commodity sector.

He said this during the distribution of face masks and hand sanitisers to industry stakeholders in conjunction with the ‘Kempen Pembudayaan Norma Baharu Covid-19’ today.

“MPB has opened applications for the new pepper planting scheme (Skim Tanaman Lada Baharu) and mature pepper planting scheme (Skim Tanaman Lada Matang) nationwide. I hope community leaders and village heads, especially in the rural areas, can disseminate this information.

“We want this information to be effectively disseminated so that the target groups and those who are interested will not miss out. The application can be made at any nearby MPB office,” he said.

Willie was confident that the pepper industry would continue to prosper despite competition from other countries.

“There is fierce competition from countries like Vietnam but in Malaysia, our Sarawak pepper is unique and of good quality. This is something to our advantage and it is difficult for other countries to compete.

“I hope that MPB will continue to unite stakeholders as they are of great importance in the chain of pepper production, ” he said.

Willie presented six certificates of registration for downstream pepper entrepreneurs that are under MPB’s guidance and assistance vouchers under the Economic Stimulus Package worth RM7,050 in total to 12 pepper farmers.

Besides that, a pepper farmer received assistance worth RM2,600 under the new pepper planting scheme and 10 representatives from the industry’s stakeholders were given face masks as well as hand sanitisers.

MPB director Philip Gaweng revealed that the price of pepper had seen a slight increase, with black pepper valued at RM10.10 per kilo while white pepper at RM17.40 per kilo.