KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Malaysian cocoa industry has good potential to penetrate the international market due to its high quality, said Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Zuraida Kamarudin. (pix)
She said the ministry is serious about developing the cocoa industry as the country’s fourth largest commodity after oil palm, rubber and timber.
“The ministry will help smallholders to increase their crops and productivity by recommending that they plant cocoa trees from good breeds. The quality of cocoa beans produced in Malaysia has gained international recognition and appreciation.
“So, if we can focus on growing high quality cocoa, it will definitely generate income. The cocoa industry should also be made a trademark (of Malaysia) not only for smallholders at the downstream level, but also to be an attraction for tourists,“ she said at a press conference after officiating at the Sarawak Cocoa Cluster Complex here, today.
According to Zuraida, the Malaysian Cocoa Board strives to help local chocolate entrepreneurs to promote their products to be known throughout the country, thus, being able to compete with international chocolate products.
“We want the people to know that local chocolate brands such as Magnificient, Marvelous and Royal are products produced in Malaysia such as Beryl’s chocolate which has become the country’s number one chocolate exporter.
“This proves that our country is very progressive and unwavering and able to compete with top brands abroad because our chocolate is of high quality and affordable,“ she said.
The RM4.6 million Sarawak Cocoa Cluster Complex in Kota Samarahan was completed last May and is part of the Cocoa Cluster Chain Development Programme under the 12th Malaysia Plan.