SARIKEI: 98 per cent of the country’s pepper farmers are from Sarawak, but very few realise they are producing the best pepper in the world.
The quality of pepper produced by other countries are no match to Sarawak pepper, Director-General of Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB), Dr Harry Entebang said.
He added that countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Europe and the United States preferred Sarawak pepper to those produced from other countries due to its high or premium quality.
“90 per cent of Sarawak’s pepper are exported to these countries as they prefer our pepper which is superior compared to those produced by other countries,” said Entebang.
On the other hand, pepper consumers in the state prefer to buy imported pepper simply because its cheaper without bothering about inferior quality, he lamented.
He therefore called on all especially local industries to use local pepper as an ingredient for their products.
Local industrial players should be the ones to benefit from the high quality Sarawak pepper to produce commercial products instead of their competitors from developed countries who depended on pepper imported from Sarawak, he opined.
At the moment, use of pepper by local industries are limited to production of sauce, candies, massaging oil, perfume, he said, while expressing hope that MPB would be able to come up with more pepper products through its research.
He believed an increased and steady demand for pepper by local and foreign markets would help stabilise the price of the commodity.
There are many ways to support our pepper industry, adding that, one simple way is for the various agencies and local communities to offer pepper product as souvenir or door gifts.
MPB also plans to work with Universiti Putera Malaysia, Bintulu Campus to undertake a joint project to promote Sarawak pepper and set up a research
and community farm – Sarawak Pepper Farm@UPM Bintulu, he disclosed during Program Jelajah Sarawak ‘Jom Tanam Lada’organised by MPB at Rumah George Chungut, Nanga Nansang, near here last Thursday.
They hoped that with the involvement of the state government and the Ministry of Higher Education, they would be able to raise RM1 million to kick start the project.
The programme was officially launched by MPB chairman, Tan Sri William Mawan who is also Pakan assemblyman and Saratok MP.