KUCHING Dec 7 (Bernama) -- A total of RM9.5 million allocation will be channelled as agricultural input assistance involving 3,295 cocoa farmers in the country starting from January next year through the Budget 2024, Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) director-general Datuk Dr Ramle Kasin said.
He said of the amount, RM2.5 million will be channelled to 555 industrial farmers in Sarawak, covering approximately 512 hectares of cocoa plantation.
“Previously some farmers have received assistance but it is not enough...we plan to carry out expansion activities by teaching the best way to increase the productivity of cocoa production,” he said in a press conference after the closing ceremony of the Sarawak Super Cocoa Training Course Second Series 2023 organised by LKM and the Institute of Malaysian Plantation and Commodities here today.
Sabah and Peninsular respectively receive an allocation of RM5 million and RM2 million with crop plantation areas of 1,344 hectares and 270 hectares.
Ramle said agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and insecticides as well as pesticides are among the complaints and, therefore, such assistance could ease the burden of farmers.
Meanwhile, he said the demand for cocoa products is expected to continue to increase this month due to festival and celebration seasons.
Therefore, he said LKM is on the right track to achieve the RM8 billion cocoa products export income target this year.
On Sept 30, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof announced that the country’s total cocoa export earnings from January to July this year had reached RM4.364 billion.
A total of 35 participants consisting of cocoa farmers attended the course which aimed to provide knowledge on cocoa plant management and care methods.
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