20/02/2024 04:35 PM

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- The cocoa sector contributed RM8.2 billion to the national income last year, which is a 5.0 per cent increase compared to RM7.8 billion in 2022.

Deputy Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin said a large part of the amount was contributed by the export earnings of semi-finished cocoa products such as cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

“At the upstream level, Malaysia’s cocoa plantation area is 6,123 hectares, a slight increase compared to 5,985 hectares in 2022.

“This increase of 138 hectares is the result of the New Cocoa Plant Programme that has been implemented by the Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM),” he said at the Seminar On Sustainability In Cocoa Supply Chain Through Advanced Technology: Consultation With Industry On Cocoa Advanced Technology 2024 here today.

Also present were LKM chairman Datuk Matbali Musah and LKM director-general Datuk Ramle Kasim.

Chan said as much as 89 per cent of the cocoa plantation area in Malaysia is cultivated by smallholders, with Sabah still being the state with the largest cocoa plantation area at 3,572 hectares, or 58 per cent of the country’s cocoa plantation area.

He said the world’s demand for cocoa beans is increasing, which directly contributed to the sudden increase in world cocoa bean prices, and that the price of cocoa beans in Malaysia has now reached RM17 per kilogramme compared to RM8 in 2022.

In the meantime, Chan said LKM is implementing several strategies to increase cocoa productivity, such as strengthening the efficiency of farm management using mechanisation, digital data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

He also said that LKM has been allocated RM3 million to implement mechanisation and technology in cocoa plant management for the period 2024 to 2025.


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