Cocoa trade hub to facilitate beans import, improve quality issue



ISKANDAR PUTERI: The cocoa trade hubs at Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Port of Pasir Gudang will facilitate the process of importing cocoa beans and help in solving quality issues that can cause consignment hold-ups, thus, convincing foreign investors to import local cocoa beans.

Deputy Minister of Plantation Industry and Commodities Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said the hub was based on the cocoa trade hub model overseas such as the Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the Port of Singapore.

He said the two hubs are also equipped with complete infrastructure, have a sufficient skilled workforce and an excellent domestic network as well as experience in handling cocoa.

“These hubs have also been equipped with a facilitation laboratory to provide screening facilities to detect cocoa pests and verification services for compliance with cocoa bean import requirements, to carry out monitoring activities and to track projects related to cocoa.

“That is why I said this hub has the potential to speed up the processing of cocoa beans in Malaysia,” he said after officiating the Malaysia cocoa trade hub here today.

Also present were the Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM) Chairman Rahimah Majid and Director General Dr Ramle Kasin.

Wee said the renovation of the laboratory has been completed in August this year and so far, Johor is the only state that has such a hub.

“We will consider opening in other places but we’ll see (how) here first,” he said.

He said following the inauguration of the hub, LKM would continue to take steps forward by further exploring the potential of the downstream cocoa sector in Johor.

Wee said a feasibility study for the development of a conducive ecosystem for the downstream cocoa industry that would be branded as CocoaNexus@Iskandar Malaysia is being carried out.

“Through this study, the ministry and LKM are confident that it will attract interest and thus increase investment opportunities from within and outside the country to invest in the cocoa industry.

“It is hoped that the cocoa industry in Malaysia will continue to thrive and be competitive at the local and global levels,” he added.-Bernama

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