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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12: The Plantation, Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC) is urging Malaysians to support local agriculture products, especially Sarawak’s black pepper as a move to increase its value and pricing.
Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister II Datuk Willie Mongin believed more domestic consumption of local pepper will create added value for the pepper industry, which in turn will give better pricing for local pepper.
“We have produced many downstream products. I would like to urge Malaysians to support local pepper, especially Sarawak’s black pepper.
“We need to increase the domestic usage and not be too dependent on exports,” he said in Parliament today.
Wille was responding to a question from Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot who asked the measures taken by the ministry to ensure stable pricing for pepper, rubber and crude palm oil (CPO) in Malaysia.
Wille added the ministry will also increase the branding and awareness on the usage of local pepper through Saraspice Sdn Bhd (Saraspice) in which the operation will be activated soon.
He said 60 per cent of pepper production was exported, while Malaysia currently produces 30.8 metric tonnes of pepper.
On a supplementary question by Riot who noted that there were some smallholders who received subsidy from the government and some who did not get it, Willie said the ministry is currently shortlisting those who are eligible to receive the aid from the government.
He added officers from the ministry are conducting ground check to ensure smallholders who received the subsidy were genuine. — DayakDaily