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By Jacob Achoi
KUCHING, Oct 22: The Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB) has come up with a new method of planting pepper, by using PVC pipes as support poles for the vine.
Its Research and Development (R&D) department has also come up with new pepper varieties for white and black pepper, named ‘Kuching’ and ‘Semongok Aman’, respectively.
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin said such efforts is aimed at helping pepper farmers, who are mostly smallholders.
“With these new products which were developed with R&D, we hope to assist pepper smallholders to generate more income, and to motivate them to grow pepper,” Willie told reporters after the launch today at his service centre at Jalan Borneo Heights.
He said planting pepper using PVC pipes was more economical and handy, compared to using poles made of belian wood, which is expensive and heavy.
On the new pepper varieties, he said that the board had discovered that pepper smallholders would normally plant several varieties on their farm.
“With the new findings, it will be easy for the farmers to plant, whether they prefer the variety for white or black pepper,” he pointed out.
He strongly encouraged farmers to plant both varieties on their farm, adding that MPB is working closely with the state Department of Agriculture to improve the pepper varieties.
He also said that Sarawak pepper is in high demand because of its premium quality and unique aroma.
The current production of pepper is about 6.4 tons per hectare, with the ministry targeting a production rate of 6.6 tons per hectare by 2030. — DayakDaily