By Jacob Achoi
KUCHING, Feb 14: The Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) field research station in Semenggok built at a cost of RM2.83 million has been completed and will be handed over to MPB next month.
According to Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin, the facility on a one-acre parcel of land is the first such station in the country and will help to further boost pepper planting in the country, and in Sarawak in particular.
“For the field research station that we have here (in Semenggok), it will help with the development of infrastructure and facilities to increase the activities related to pepper planting,” he told reporters today during a visit to the site.
He explained that the setting up of the research station will enable MPB to develop pepper farm lots to test its research and development.
Willie pointed out that among the components of the project are four greenhouse units to be used to study pepper diseases and pests, tissue culture and agronomy.
Premises was also allocated for the collection of pepper plasma, he said, adding that the station will be equipped with information and communication technology (ICT).
Willie hoped for optimum use of the station and urged its officers to go to the ground to develop the pepper industry in the State.
“About 98 per cent of pepper farmers are from Sarawak, and it is my hope that the research station be made full use of to encourage pepper planting industry in the State,” emphasised Willie, who is also the Puncak Borneo MP. — DayakDaily