Malaysia is seeking to increase its overall Cocoa output, with the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities setting a target for the Cocoa replanting project to reach 1,000 hectares (ha) by 2023.

According to the deputy minister, Datuk Willie Mongin, the project has successfully replanted 700ha with Cocoa since its inception. This includes 150ha in Sarawak, 350ha in Sabah and 200ha in peninsula Malaysia.

As the Sarawak Super Cocoa Training course came to an end on Thursday, 22 September, Willie spoke to the media:

If the project is successful, definitely the Cocoa replanting prospects will be better in future. 

With the progress made by the Cocoa Development Board, a lot of technology and also pesticides will assist the farmers in preventing or combating the Cocoa plant diseases with good planting and maintenance practices as well, thus providing good returns for the farmers.

Datuk Willie Mongin, Deputy Minister

He also encouraged Cocoa farmers and producers to partake in the production of Cocoa products, such as Cocoa powder and chocolate bars, that could prove more lucrative than the raw commodity alone.

But we must ensure that both sides will benefit. Otherwise, focusing only on the downstream sector and not the upstream as well, we will not have the raw material. The downstream and upstream sectors need each other.

Datuk Willie Mongin, Deputy Minister

It is clear that Malaysia has both the demand and the desire to increase its Cocoa production. If the Cocoa replanting project is a success, other Malaysian Cocoa initiatives could emerge as the country seeks to strengthen its position in the sector.

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

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