Niche markets for pepper, sago


THE Sarawak State Farmers' Organisation (SFO) has ventured into the production of more value-added pepper and sago products marketed under the brand name of Agro D'lite. 

According to its chairman Datuk Ramsay Noel Jitam, these products included the Sarawak black pepper and green pepper sauce and marinating paste, black and green pepper in brine and sago snack Tebaloi. 

“The SFO is shifting from the marketing of primary produce to value-added and specialty products for the niche markets to increase the income of farmers,” he said at a distributorship agreement signing ceremony in Kuching yesterday. 

From left: Dr Jong, Francis King, Mohd Sapuan Anu, Jail Samion and Datuk Ramsay Noel Jitam with the various pepper and sago products.

SFO, a business arm of the Sarawak Agricul-ture and Food Industries Ministry and which is owned by 28 Area Farmers' Organisations (AFOs), had appointed Jong Brothers United (M) Sdn Bhd as its distributor for the Agro D'lite pepper and sago products in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. 

Jong Brothers, represented by its managing director Dr John Jong in the agreement signing, is an established trading house with some 4,500 outlets in Sabah and Sarawak. 

Jitam, also former state Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Food Industries, said Jong Brothers' extensive network would help to more aggressively market the pepper and sago products. 

“The shift to marketing value-added and specialty products will avoid direct competition with other low-cost primary producers,” he added. 

He said SFO helped to facilitate and support AFOs in trading and commercial operations by coordinating marketing, large-scale food production, food processing and agricultural development projects. 

SFO recorded a turnover of RM19mil last year, and it expects the figure to increase to RM20mil this year.  

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