KULAIJAYA: The Plantation Industries and Commodities ministry is targeting a 10% increase in the total pepper sales nationwide this year.
Its minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that last year the country managed to achieve RM273.3mil in returns from the export of the spice.
“Currently we are the fifth
largest pepper producers in the world and we hope to increase
our exports of pepper by at least 10%,” he said after launching the “Pepper Day 2014” event here on May 24.
He said currently, Vietnam was the largest pepper producer followed by Indonesia, India, Brazil, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Douglas added that pepper
had a strong demand and it was
a commodity that could be
planted side by side with other kinds of crop.
“The price of black pepper stands at about RM20,800 per metric tonne and white pepper can be sold for up to RM30,800 per metric tonne,” he said adding that the ministry was in the midst of conducting a nationwide campaign starting with Johor to get more farmers to plant pepper.
He said that currently Sarawak had the most pepper farms and only about 2% of the total production came from Johor.
“We hope to travel to other states including Kedah and Perak soon as we see there are opportunities to pave way for the pepper market in these states,” he said.
On concerns of the El-Nino dry spell which is expected to hit later in the year, Douglas explained that the ministry was in the midst of conducting talks with relevant bodies on the issue.
“We understand that seriousness of the matter and are constantly monitoring the situation from time to time.
“If the dry spell hits and persists for a long time, we may find a way to help farmers especially small time farmers with their produce,” he said.