LKM Sarawak acts as ‘game changer’ of state’s cocoa industry.

Willie (centre) visiting the cocoa booth at LKM, Kota Samarahan.

By Ling Hui

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Dec 21: Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) Sarawak branch is poised to achieve greater heights with the completion of the RM4.66 million Cocoa Bean and Chocolate Processing Centre (PPBKC) and phase one of the Cocoa Bean Collection Centre here.

Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Willie Mongin said this is one of the main components of the Sarawak Cocoa Cluster Complex that signifies the ‘game changer’ of Sarawak’s cocoa industry.

He added phase one of PPBKC that took 18 months to complete has already been operating in stages since Sept 2020 while full operation is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

The second phase would include the construction of infrastructures from PPBKC to the Sales Gallery and Cocoa Cafe, he said.

Willie (centre) witnessing the handover of PPBKC Phase One project from Chong (second right) to Haya (second left).

Meanwhile, LKM Upstream Cocoa Technology Division director cum Cocoa Research and Development Centre manager Haya Ramba revealed the launching of the Sarawak Cocoa Quality Improvement Course at LKM.

“The purpose of this course is to provide exposure and consolidation of the participants’ knowledge in the management of post-harvest cocoa yields from fruit extraction to dry cocoa bean processing.

“This course has, until today, 60 participants registered,” he said in his speech during the officiating ceremony of the course and handover ceremony of PPBKC from AHKMA Group contractor Wallace Chong to LKM here today.

With greater knowledge among the participants including LKM officers and staff, cooperative members of Sarawak Cocoa Cluster and cocoa farmers in Sarawak, he believed the course is beneficial in improving the quality of cocoa handling.

The handling process is inclusive of the right collection methods of cocoa beans, fruit splitting at the right time, minimum quantity of fermented cocoa beans and fermentation using banana leaves to improve the quality of cocoa flavour. — DayakDaily