Deputy minister urges female entrepreneurs to tap into income opportunities in cocoa and chocolate industry

Willie (left) speaking at the Entrepreneur Development Programme for Homemade Chocolate Basic Course closing ceremony.

By Nancy Nais

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Aug 23: Sarawak is among the best cocoa powder producers in the country, hence it has good future prospects especially in the downstream industry.

Asserting this, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin urged local communities particularly women to venture into the downstream industry which is proven to lead to more lucrative income.

Speaking to a group of 26 female participants at the Entrepreneur Development Programme for Homemade Chocolate Basic Course Series 2, 2022, Willie said he wanted to see all of them making positive changes in their lives from now on.

“I want to see all of you especially our rural community women succeed. You must promise me in realising my wish and dream to see all of you become a chocolate entrepreneur one day.

“Let me remind all of you that nothing is permanent in this world because the universe is always changing. However, your motivation and life goals must always remain intact and burning in achieving your ambitions and happiness,” Willie said during the closing ceremony at the SARA Cocoa Cluster Complex in Kota Samarahan.

Willie (fifth left) with the 26 programme participants.

Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) has successfully held eight series of this course throughout Malaysia with a total of 129 participants this year.

Of that number, 93 per cent were female participants.

In 2021, 14 active chocolate entrepreneurs from Sarawak successfully produced 1,321kg of chocolate with a total sale value of RM143,000.

From January to June this year, the production increased to 1,662kg of chocolate with a total sale value of RM200,000.

“This has proven that Malaysian women are always looking for opportunities and inspiration to develop their potential, improve family’s economy by venturing into entrepreneurship and business.

“The course participants will be given exposure to handmade chocolate-making skills, the basics of entrepreneurship as well as assistance in marketing and selling products at the same premises as a kick-start support service to become a chocolate entrepreneur,” Willie added.

He also assured the participants that LKM offers potential entrepreneurs a variety of marketing support and incentives such as equipment to produce chocolate, services, advice and continuous guidance.

Also present at the event was LKM chairman Rahimah Majid. — DayakDaily