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 Nur Shazreena Ali & Sarah Hafizah Chandra

KUCHING: Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Willie Mongin suggested penalties be imposed on companies which engaged in malpractices when importing or exporting pepper from the state.

He said malpractices such as pepper adulteration must be stopped to ensure Sarawak Pepper remained a premium product which was valued for its high quality globally.

Strengthening the role of Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB) in enforcement would help to address issues faced by pepper smallholders, added Willie.

He also suggested that agropreneurs in Sarawak engage in downstream activities, such as producing pepper powder, pepper packets as well as pepper soap and hand sanitisers to boost the sales of Sarawak pepper globally.