PADAWAN: The Ministry of Plantation and Commodities (KPK) will provide training and courses to pepper smallholders in the country to ensure that the community can adapt to smart farming technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Deputy Prime Minister and Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the pilot project initiative is expected to be officially introduced to Malaysian pepper growers in early 2025.

“Training and courses will be carried out by all our agencies (under the KPK)... growers will definitely be given technology support and advice to switch to using new technology,“ he told reporters after the Sarawak Zone Commodity Trek 2023 programme at the Kampung Begu pepper garden here today.

He said the technology model was developed locally in collaboration with the Malaysian Pepper Board and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) since last year.

Fadillah said the technology is currently in a trial period and the Malaysian Pepper Board is still in the process of extracting data to test the effectiveness of the technology in the commodity gardens.

“If it (this pilot project) is successful, we will replicate it and disseminate it to all pepper smallholders so that they can grow (pepper) at a better rate than now,“ he said, adding that Malaysia is the fifth largest producer of pepper in the world.

On Nov 7, Fadillah, when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 in Parliament, said that the cooperation between industry players and Unimas was aimed at increasing local pepper production as the number of pepper smallholders is decreasing. - Bernama

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