The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has agreed to focus on four main commodities for Kelantan, namely agarwood, bamboo, cocoa and pepper in the development of the state’s economy.
In a statement today, its Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said MPIC was ready to hold further discussions on matters such as the inoculation approach for agarwood to produce high quality gaharu.
He said the ministry planned to offer inoculation material grants next year while the state government could provide funds for the replanting process using seeds supplied by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board.
“As for bamboo, we appreciate the proposal for Bandar Baru Dabong to be our National Bamboo Hub and the ministry is ready to provide assistance as bamboo must be planted in plantations to ensure consistent supply.
“Kelantan can capitalise on this because the bamboo industry in the international market is worth US$65 billion (RM273 billion),” he said in a meeting with a state government delegation led by Kelantan Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Biotechnology, Green Technology and Environment Committee chairman Tuan Mohd Saripudin Tuan Ismail in Parliament, yesterday.
As for cocoa, Mohd Khairuddin sees the downstream chocolate production industry as having very good prospects besides providing opportunities for small and medium local entrepreneurs to market their products internationally.
“It is indeed my focus to make Malaysia the ‘King of Asian Chocolate’, and for that we will declare Langkawi as the Malaysian Chocolate Hub,” he said. — BERNAMA