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Malaysia Dept ready to assist coffee entrepreneurs

PUTRAJAYA

The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (Mafi) through the Department of Agriculture is ready to help individuals who have an interest in becoming coffee entrepreneurs, “from starting to end” — starting with the preparation of the planting process, irrigation system to coffee processing.

Deputy director-general of the Department of Agriculture (Management and Regulatory), Datuk Zahimi Hassan said currently, there have been only about 2,000 coffee growers in Malaysia, especially in Kedah, Johor, and Sabah. the majority of coffee varieties grown are Liberia and robusta.

According to data from the Department of Agriculture, the area of coffee cultivation in Malaysia in 2021 is 2,220 hectares (ha) compared to 2,114 ha in 2019.

Coffee production in 2020 was 4,241 tonnes compared to three,559 tonnes in 2019, with the most producers being Johor and Sabah, he said.

“The coffee production figure is expected to increase yearly by taking into account the potential of coffee bean production according to the maturity of the trees,” he told reporters after the national-level 2021 World Coffee Day Celebration, here, today.

“The main problem during this industry is manpower which is needed to pick ripe coffee beans as not all beans in one stalk of coffee will ripen at the same time. Therefore, there is a need to re-pluck the ripe beans from that stalk at once more,” he said.

Zahimi said the govt had approved an allocation of RM4.5 million under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) for the Coffee Plantation Industry Development Project which, among others, aims to provide infrastructure and post-harvest handling facilities also as pest control equipment.

Mafi Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ronald Kiandee, who officiated at the virtual World Coffee Day celebration, said in his message that his ministry would place special emphasis on formulating new initiatives to encourage young, local entrepreneurs to venture into the coffee-growing industry.

Oct 1 has been agreed by the International Coffee Organisation, which has 49 member countries, because the date for the celebration of World Coffee Day which is to market and celebrate coffee as a daily drink, in addition to appreciating coffee farmers and the entire coffee value chain including processors, manufacturers to consumers.

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