KUALA LUMPUR: The Plantation and Commodities Ministry (KPK) aims to expand the country’s total cocoa farming area to 10,000 hectares in five years from 5,985 hectares currently, said Deputy Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin.

He said the focus will be on cultivating premium cocoa bean varieties, which are capable of penetrating a niche market, by growing the crop on parcels of land that have been identified.

“With the guaranteed prospects of the domestic cocoa market, it is hoped that the commodity is given the necessary allocation to increase its land area to 10,000 hectares as targeted, starting with RM3 million for 2025,” he said during the question-and-answer session in Parliament today.

He was replying to a question from Riduan Rubin (Independent-Tenom) who wanted to know about KPK’s efforts to empower the cocoa industry.

Chan also disclosed that KPK is in the midst of branding and promoting premium local cocoa products as single-origin cocoa with a unique flavour, to enable cocoa producers to promote the distinctive taste and attract local and international chocolate makers.

KPK and the Malaysian Cocoa Board are also promoting the introduction of new technologies and adoption of existing technologies as good agricultural practices to boost productivity and facilitate plantation management operations through the application of the latest technologies, including mechanisation and Internet of things.

“This initiative can enhance the youth’s interest to participate in the upstream sector, as well as strengthening marketing support for operators and smallholders to ensure sustainable cocoa cultivation,” he added.


Sumber : The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR: The Plantations and Commodities Ministry and the Malaysian Cocoa Board remains committed to reviving the country's cocoa industry by focusing on two primary sectors.

These sectors serve as income-generating platforms for the populace, namely the upstream and downstream sectors.

Deputy Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin said both sectors were capable of adding value through products that contribute to the country's economic development.

On Jan 24, Malaysia's cocoa sector had not yet achieved a satisfactory level of self-sustainability, according to Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

Johari noted that the production of cocoa beans in the country has declined significantly.

Responding during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today, Chan outlined several key efforts to rejuvenate the industry.

He said the ministry aims to expand the cocoa cultivation area from 5,985ha to 10,000ha within five years.

"This initiative also focuses on premium cocoa planting varieties that can penetrate niche markets through cultivation in identified land areas.

"With the existing market prospect assurance for cocoa within the country, it is hoped that this commodity will be allocated funds to expand up to 10,000 hectares as targeted, with an initial allocation of RM3 million for the year 2025," he said.

Chan said the ministry also plans to brand and promote local premium cocoa products, such as single-origin cocoa and unique-flavoured cocoa.

He said these strategies will enable cocoa producers to showcase the distinct taste of local cocoa, attracting both local and international chocolate makers.

"The board is actively transferring technology and promoting research and technology adaptation activities.

"Generating various technologies and innovations through research and development activities to address major pest issues in the cocoa industry in the upstream sector at one time," he said.

Chan said, among others, to strengthen the cocoa marketing chain by establishing lead cooperatives in each region.

He said to date, three cooperatives are serving as umbrella bodies to ensure the marketing of farm produce and domestic smallholder cocoa processing sectors is protected, especially in terms of sales prices and providing additional value-added benefits to the products.

"With the introduction of the 'farm-to-table' approach, cocoa producers can benefit from the income chain of products from their own farms.

"Encouragement of cooperative membership participation is also actively being carried out to strengthen cooperative membership in all three cooperatives," he said.

He said the ministry and the board were promoting the introduction of new technologies and the adaptation of existing technologies in agricultural practices.

This, said Chan, was to enhance productivity and facilitate farm management with the application of the latest technology through mechanisation, Internet of Things and others.

"This initiative can increase the interest of youth groups in joining the upstream sector.

"Marketing support serves as the strength for cocoa entrepreneurs or smallholders to continue cocoa cultivation in the country and subsequently become contributors of dried cocoa beans in line with industry requirements," he said.


Sumber : New Straits Times

Our palm oil is poised to remain a key contributor to the nation's economy this year.

We anticipate an increase in export revenue from palm oil and palm-based products.

The rise in revenue is expected due to higher demand from our primary importers, notably

China and India, as well as improved prices of crude palm oil (CPO).

India and China together made up 28.5 per cent of Malaysia's export of palm oil for 2023 and we anticipate this trend to continue this year.

India maintained its position as Malaysia's largest palm oil export market last year for the 10th consecutive year since 2014, with 2.84 million tonnes or 18.8 per cent of Malaysia's total palm oil exports followed by China at 1.47 million tonnes (9.7 per cent). 

Other significant importers were the European Union1.07 million tonnes (7.1 per cent), Kenya 0.92 million tonnes (6.1 per cent), Turkiye 0.88 million tonnes (5.8 per cent), Japan 0.55 million tonnes (3.6 per cent) and Pakistan 0.50 million tonnes (3.3 per cent).

These seven main markets contributed 8.23 million tonnes or 54.4 per cent of Malaysia's total palm oil exports in 2023.

Malaysia exported 24.49 million tonnes of palm oil and palm-based products and generated an income of RM94.95 billion for 2023. In 2024, export revenue of palm oil and palm-based products is expected at RM110 billion. 

Similarly, palm oil exports may increase by 3.3 per centto 15.6 million tonnes for 2024, as opposed to 15.1 million tonnes for 2023 attributed to expected higher export demand, especially from China.

Besides, the B35 implementation (35 per cent palm oil blend in biodiesel)in Indonesia and the high crude oil price are expected to increase export demand for Malaysian palm oil.

 On the other hand, we foresee the price of CPO to average higher at between RM3,900 per tonne and RM4,200 per tonne this year compared to the RM3,809.50 per tonne which will support our income from palm oil exports.

The expected higher average price of CPO may be mainly due to the tight palm oil supply as a result of unfavourable weather conditions which are expected to remain at least until April 2024. Malaysia's palm oil stocks, expected to be below two million tonnes this year will also support the price of CPO.

We foresee production of palm oil to be higher this year due to improving labour condition in the plantations which will be another contributor to the export income. We are now recording better production of CPO although the numbers are still below the actual production potential level.

In 2023, CPO production recorded an increase for the second year in a row to 18.55 million tonnes compared to 18.45 million tonnes in 2022 and 18.12 million tonnes in 2021.

The higher CPO production of 0.5 per cent in 2023 was partly contributed by the improved estate's yield performance of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) during the year, up by 1.9 per cent to 15.79 tonnes per hectare compared to 15.49 tonnes per hectare in the previous year. 

In 2024, CPO production is expected to increase marginally by 1.1 per cent to 18.75 million tonnes from 2023's production due to an improvement in the labour situation and increased fertiliser application.

However, CPO production is expected to remain below potential due to the El Nino event, which is expected to affect FFB production in the second half of this year.

To expand our export market, MPOB has successfullyproduced high value palm-based products in the market, especially red palm oil, which is rich in various natural health-promoting antioxidants including vitamin E, carotene, phytosterols, squalene and coenzyme Q10.MPOB has developed and introduced value-added products utilising red palm oil, including cookies, ice cream, and various other products. 

MPOB's research in the food and nutrition field has expanded the range of palm oil applications, leading to the development of new products that enhance export diversification. These include palm-based coconut milk and palm-based cheese. 

Our research efforts have resulted in the successful development of tocotrienol and nano-tocotrienol from palm oil, which are known for their health benefits. These products have garnered significant demand from our export markets, reflecting their positive reception among consumers.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR (March 11): Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) maintained its 'neutral' rating for the plantation sector, and said the sector had played its part in ensuring food security, job security, and health security not just for the nation, but the world over during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a sector update on Monday, the research house said despite rising cost challenges and falling output, the sector still made huge monetary contributions of more than RM23 billion over the past four years in various forms of direct and indirect taxes, and contributions.

Maybank IB said that between 2020 and 2023, the plantation sector contributed approximately RM6.1 billion in windfall profit levy, RM3.7 billion in export duties, RM1.3 billion in Malaysian Palm Oil Boar cess, RM200 million in prosperity taxes, more than RM6 billion in Sabah and Sarawak sales taxes (Maybank IB’s back-of-the-envelope estimates), and easily more than RM6 billion in corporate income taxes and individual taxes (by the smallholders) to the Malaysian government for a selected list of corporates.

“The sector is said to be among the highest tax contributors in terms of total taxes (including the windfall profit levy, export duties, Cess, and Sabah and Sarawak sales taxes, in addition to corporate taxes),” it said.

Maybank IB said palm oil holds more than 50% market share in the global vegetable oils trade.

Hence, the research house said its continuous availability is crucial to global food security as well as health security.

It said throughout the pandemic, palm oil exports never stopped, as the government allowed palm oil cultivation to proceed.

“Besides food use, the continuous availability of palm oil and palm products also meant there were the much-needed ingredients to make personal cares and cleaning products, such as hand wash, soap, laundry detergents, hand sanitisers, etc, which the world desperately needed in its fight against the highly infectious Covid-19 virus,” it said.

Maybank IB highlighted that during the pandemic, the plantation sector was among the few granted special approval by the government to operate.

It said social distancing at the workplace was inherent in the estates, given that one worker typically covers more than 10 hectares of estates, providing a naturally safe working environment.

The research house said that at the height of the pandemic, outsiders had limited access to the staffs’ housing quarters and estate operations to ensure the safety of their workers and families.

“While country borders were mostly closed initially, guest workers remained employed throughout, and were paid decent wages (plus incentives) that allowed them to repatriate the much-needed income to provide for their families back home (presumably equally affected by the pandemic),” it said.


Sumber : The Edge Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin today clarified that the Facebook account under the name 'Chan Foong Hin' does not belong to him.

He said it was a fake account created by irresponsible individuals and called the public to help report the account on the platform.

"Please note that I have only one FB page (with a verified blue tick) and one FB personal account 'Foong Hin Chan'," said Chan.

"There's no such position called 'Deputy Prime Minister of Plantation & Commodities' too," he added.

Meanwhile, checks by New Straits Times on the fake account showed that the alias used is @chan.foong.hin.2, and the profile has zero friends.


Sumber : New Straits Times