Sarawak Cocoa Cluster expected to start operation by year’s end

Willie (centre) listening to explanation from Ramlee at left.

KUCHING, June 27: The Sarawak Cocoa Cluster,  a factory for grading and processing cocoa beans at Kota Samarahan is expected to start operation either by this year’s end or early next year.

In pointing out this, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Willie Mongin said the factory, which has the capacity to handle 50 metric tons of cocoa beans annually will help to propel the cocoa industry in the state.

“We have set up a factory (Sarawak Cocoa Cluster) expected to start operation either end of this year or early next year, and also a Cocoa Cluster Co-operative which has started operation.

“This chain of programme is to help to boost our local cocoa industry,” Willie told reporters today after officiating at a briefing on the potential of cocoa industry and the cocoa cluster co-operative briefing at Kpg Bratan Community hall at Jalan Borneo Heights.

Willie strongly encouraged cocoa planters in the state, and in Puncak Borneo in particular, to join the co-operative in order to enjoy the benefits like dividend and bonus.

Willie also said that Malaysian Cocoa Board will introduce cocoa “single origin” species which he said is of higher quality and fetch higher prices.

The Puncak Borneo MP also said 1,140 cocoa smallholders in the state were eligible to receive a total RM667,000 under the comprehensive economic stimulus package 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

He added he was committed to build farm road infrastructure to help land owners to maximise their land for commercial farming.

Willie further said that the cocoa industry has the potential to grow and hoped those having planted the commodity not to abandon their farm.

At the function, he also presented incentives and agriculture tools to the participants under the comprehensive stimulus package in Puncak Borneo constituency.

Present was Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) acting director Dr Ramlee Kasin. -DayakDaily