KUCHING: The value of Malaysia’s cocoa exports reached RM4.364 billion from January to July this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Fadillah, who is also the Minister of Plantation and Commodities, said the amount was a good development in reaching the cocoa export income target of RM8 billion this year.
“Cocoa is the third largest commodity contributing to the country’s export value after palm oil and rubber.
“In 2022, cocoa contributed as much as RM7.8 billion to the country’s export income. This was an increase of 13.7 percent compared to 2021,“ he noted.
He said this at the official ceremony for Berandau Day and the Sarawak Cocoa Cluster Cooperative at the Cocoa Research and Development Centre here today.
Fadillah said the country’s cocoa plantation area is currently 5,985 hectares and is targeted to increase to 6,335 hectares as a result of the opening of new cocoa plantation areas. Of that amount, 24.6 percent or 1,473 hectares of cocoa crops are cultivated in Sarawak.
“Cocoa cultivation in Sarawak is concentrated in Kota Samarahan and Sarikei, while the number of cocoa farmers in Sarawak to date is 1,290 people,“ he added.
Fadillah said the cocoa industry has great potential to expand further to be comparable to other national commodities such as palm oil. - Bernama