KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 -- A total of 4,566 cocoa smallholders, involving 3,134 hectares of planted area, have received agricultural input assistance valued at RM2.69 million under the PRIHATIN Economic Stimulus Package.
Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) chairman Anyi Ngau said the aid was to assist cocoa smallholders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I hope LKM's roles and functions will be strengthened to spur the development of the country's cocoa industry,” he said in a statement issued today in conjunction with Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin's working visit to LKM and the Cocoa Innovative and Technology Centre (PITK) in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.
Anyi also expressed his appreciation to the government for providing the assistance.
During the visit, Willie and Anyi were briefed on LKM as well as the functions and roles of PITK Nilai that comprise research on cocoa processing, product development, quality improvement and cocoa product management.
The centre also offers courses on handmade chocolate-making, chocolate panning and chocolate sensory, and carries out licencing and grading activities.
PITK Nilai also conducts research for the development of cocoa-based non-food products, and among the products that have been commercialised are cocoa-based toothpaste and bath products.
LKM also provided information on services offered at PITK Nilai such as cocoa product analyses, block chocolate production for chocolate entrepreneurs assisted by the board, laboratory machinery rental and exhibitions on LKM's research findings.