KUCHING: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry is targeting the cocoa replanting project to reach 1,000 hectares (ha) by 2023 to increase the country’s cocoa output.
Its deputy minister, Datuk Willie Mongin said since the project started, 700ha had been replanted with cocoa, of which 150ha were in Sarawak, 350ha in Sabah and 200ha in the peninsula.
"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 as the cocoa plant diseases with good planting and maintenance practices as well, thus providing good returns for the farmers.”
He told this to the media after officially closing the Sarawak Super Cocoa Training Course, here, on Thursday (Sept 22).
Willie said the cocoa farmers and producers were also encouraged to be involved in the downstream sector such as producing cocoa powder and chocolate blocks that were viewed to be lucrative.
"But we must ensure that both sides will benefit. Otherwise, focusing only on the downstream sector and not on the upstream as well, we will not have the raw material. The downstream and upstream sectors need each other,” he added.- Bernama