KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): Global pepper demand is projected to continue its upward trajectory in 2024 and 2025, according to Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

The minister attributed this growth to the potential applications of pepper in various sectors, including pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals, which are driving this positive trend.

“In 2023, the global pepper consumption will amount to around 291,000 tonnes, an increase of 40,000 tonnes compared with the previous year.

“However, Malaysia's pepper exports slightly declined in 2023 to 5,800 tonnes worth RM149 million compared with 6,700 tonnes in the previous year worth RM180 million,” he said during the inaugural Malaysian Pepper Industry National Conference 2024 themed “Strengthening the Growth of the Pepper Industry”.

His speech was read by Deputy Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin.

Johari highlighted Malaysia's position as the world's fifth-largest pepper producer, with a production volume of approximately 31,000 tonnes in 2023, trailing behind Vietnam, Brazil, India and Indonesia.

He acknowledged the current challenges facing the local and global pepper industry, particularly the imbalance between supply and demand which is exerting pressure on prices.

Hence, he said the government, via the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB), is implementing several dynamic and integrated programmes, projects, incentives and assistance involving smallholders and pepper entrepreneurs to ensure the sustainability of the pepper industry and boost the development of upstream and downstream industries.

Under the 12th Malaysia Plan, the government has allocated RM50 million to assist pepper farmers through the New Pepper Planting Scheme and the Mature Pepper Planting Scheme, thereby alleviating financial burdens.

In addition, he said the government has also allocated RM3 million to implement the premium quality pepper projects, while another RM5 million was allocated to increase the involvement of competitive downstream entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Johari underscored the conference's objective of boosting pepper demand and consumption while strengthening the downstream sector by fostering collaboration among stakeholders, including small and medium enterprises, exporters, importers, hotels and restaurants.

“This conference is proof that the government is committed to growing a competitive local pepper industry, capable of generating immense value to the national economy,” he added.


Sumber : The Edge Malaysia