PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 — The Ministry of Plantation, Industries and Commodities (MPIC) is eyeing an increase in cocoa exports this year to RM14 billion from RM7 billion last year, driven by the big market potential of the commodity globally.
Its minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said with global cocoa consumption projected to be worth US$120 billion at present (US$1=RM4.18), the ministry has drafted various initiatives to achieve the targetted export value.
“The cocoa industry has high potential and we see that Malaysia can explore and increase cocoa production for exports,” she told the media after launching a cocoa commercial and promotion video today. “Besides cocoa plantation and training of local entrepreneurs to produce chocolate, we are also concentrating on the grinding business which means cocoa beans are imported and we grind and re-export the powder.”
Zuraida said a cocoa trade hub in the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), Johor would be completed in the near future and the establishment of the hub would boost cocoa exports.
“This would facilitate the movement of import and export. With a grinding facility, there is no need to go inland, as cocoa beans would be ready to be ground for export,” she added.
Zuraida said the Malaysian Cocoa Board, an agency under MITI, would cooperate with a local animation company, Monsta Agency and Distribution, in the making of a commercial video advertisement based on an animated character, Professor Cocoa, that would also feature a famous animated character, Boboiboy.
Zuraida said the commercial would be shown on national television channels to disseminate information on the nutrition, benefits and usage of cocoa as well as to provide awareness on the many health advantages and non-food based usage of cocoa in the cosmetics industry and health-related products. — Bernama