Ranked the fourth largest pepper producer within the International Pepper Community (IPC) member countries, Malaysia is spotlighting its sustainable initiatives and pepper products at Expo 2020 towards expanding into new markets across the region.
Malaysia Pepper Board Assistant Director Asmah Morshidi, said its participation in Malaysia Pavilion’s Sustainable Agricommodities (Food Agricommodities) Week at Expo 2020 Dubai is to increase the global visibility and availability of the high-quality Sarawak Pepper, and ultimately increase its demand.
“MPB is seeking new opportunities to penetrate new markets in the Middle East, and expand its presence in current markets like Japan, China and Korea.
“This in turn will increase the value of Malaysian pepper which can benefit the pepper industry and country economy as a whole,” said Asmah.
The black pepper industry is one of the main pillars of Malaysia’s economy, contributing USD 581 million (RM2,434 million) to the nation’s GDP in 2020 and providing a livelihood for thousands of pepper farmers across Malaysia.
Nearly 98% of Malaysian pepper is produced in Sarawak, with whole black pepper as the most popular export accounting for nearly 70%. The remaining 30% of exports consists of white pepper, green pepper in brine, and value-added pepper which are pepper products that have higher value than normal pepper as they go under a more detailed process from grading, colour sorting, sterilisation, lab testing, and quality control.
Asmah further added that Malaysia has implemented accredited certification schemes, regulatory guidelines, best international agriculture practices and introduced cutting-edge technologies, by the upstream and downstream industries, to ensure the future prosperity of the sector.
During the week’s programme, MPB will hold pocket talks to enable industry players to share discoveries, innovations and challenges in the global pepper industry.
“Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity for MPB to discuss new products, import regulations, consumption trends, quality control and offer trade deals to existing and prospective buyers,” Malaysian Pepper Board researcher Dr. Khew Choy Yuen said.
MPB researchers will also speak on various new technologies developed including new R&D products to enhance flowering in black pepper, sustainable organic pepper farming practices and crop improvement to increase the economic value of black pepper.
These research findings have the potential to achieve sustainable black pepper production.
Keeping tabs on technology advancements, MPB has adopted digital technologies for identifying pest, disease and nutritional problems in pepper through the use of various mobile phone applications. Adoption of these technologies has helped early detection of diseases and nutrient deficiency problems in pepper vines to ensure sustainable pepper production while saving costs and time in pepper farm management.
The MPB will also highlight value-added pepper products produced by SMEs, and premium pepper such as Creamy White Pepper which is halal certified. In addition, Malaysia’s pepper is a higher quality pepper in terms of pungency, flavour and aroma as compared with other pepper producing countries, Malaysian Pepper Board researcher Dr. Kevin Muyang added.