Malaysia Pepper Board looking to expand its market to Middle East

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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Malaysia Pepper Board at Expo
Malaysia Pepper Board officials at Dubai Expo 2020

The fourth-largest pepper producer within the International Pepper Community (IPC) member countries, Malaysia is exploring avenues to expand its pepper market to the Middle East region by spotlighting its sustainable initiatives and pepper products at Expo 2020.

Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB) Assistant Director Ms. Asmah Morshidi, observed that its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai at Malaysia Pavilion’s Sustainable Agricommodities Week has helped it to gain global visibility.

Ms. Asma remarked that “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.”

The black pepper industry is one of the main pillars of Malaysia’s economy, contributing $581 million to the nation’s GDP in 2020 and providing a livelihood for thousands of pepper farmers across Malaysia.

Nearly 98 percent of Malaysian pepper is produced in Sarawak, with whole black pepper being the most popular export accounting for nearly 70 percent of the international trade. The remaining 30 percent of exports consist of white pepper, green pepper in brine, and value-added pepper which are pepper products that have a higher value than normal pepper as they go under a more detailed process from grading, color sorting, sterilization, lab testing, and quality control.

MPB Assistant Director 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 program, MPB researchers will speak on various new technologies and innovations 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.

Malaysian Pepper Board researcher Dr. Khew Choy Yuen remarked that “Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity for MPB to discuss new products, import regulations, consumption trends, and quality control and offer trade deals to existing and prospective buyers.”

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, flavor, and aroma as compared with other pepper-producing countries, Dr. Muyang added.

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.

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