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February 19, 2012

Malaysia to increase cocoa production, reduce imports from West Africa

Malaysia grows 5,000 tonnes of cocoa per year, but has plans in place to significantly increase local production and reduce imports.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, has said the country aims to be self-sufficient in cocoa by 2020. The plan is for current production to have reached 60,000 tonnes per year by then.

An article in The Borneo Post quotes Dempok as saying Malaysian cocoa grinders were importing some 295,000 tonnes of cocoa beans annually from Indonesia, Ivory Coast and Ghana. He said in the eight years period the land allocated to cocoa production would increase by 2,000 hectares each year, from the present 20,543 hectares to 40,000 hectares.

The Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) is to start the development of new cocoa planting areas and rehabilitate about 1,000 hectares of low productivity or abandoned cocoa plantation projects.

Dompok said that although the target would not be able to fully support the country's cocoa bean grinding capacity of over 300,000 tonnes per year, it would help to promote the crop domestically while reducing the import of cocoa beans.

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