With Malaysia’s cocoa crop growing up to over 5,879 hectares to date, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) is aiming for Malaysia to be crowned the ‘King of Asia Chocolate’ with its high quality, nutritious and great-tasting homegrown cocoa.
According to Bernama, MPIC’s minister, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said Malaysia achieved the goal of being known as the second largest cocoa grinder in Asia because of how well-fitted the land is.
He said, “For this region, we want to make Malaysia the ‘King of Asia Chocolate’ which means at the Asian level, Malaysia is championing it because we are the main grinder and we have good ground for us to submit a ‘single origin’.”
After signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) and Pertubuhan Peladangan Kawasan (PPK) Bagan Datuk, Perak, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Malaysia Pahang at Hotel Premiera, he stated that there must be a uniqueness to the chocolate to be crown as the ‘King’ as chocolates produced all over the world offer certain qualities that represent the country, and for Malaysia it’s the famous ranau cocoa and peninsula cocoa.
“Each type of soil provides different nutrients. This is what we want to focus on and we have carried out research. We want to popularise our chocolate and highlight the benefits and taste,” he said.
With MPIC’s role to encourage cooperation between government agencies, private agencies, associations and industry players to expand the country’s cocoa plantations, they might just achieve their goal.
Mohd Khairuddin said the MoA between MCB and PPK Bagan Datuk is a collaboration in the development of cocoa cultivation in integration with coconut cultivation for the implementation of the Cocoa Plantation Sustainable Development Project.
During today’s signing, it is revealed that MCB had agreed to lease 28.3 hectares (70 acres) of land in the Bagan Datuk MCB Cocoa Research and Development Centre to be operated by the PPK Bagan Datuk.
In addition, MCB will monitor and provide technical advice to cocoa growers on the integration of cocoa and coconut cultivation so the integrated crops will benefit profitable returns.
Like many other crop integrations, the integration of cocoa and coconut will increase diversity along with environmental sustainability, overall production and the economics of farming, which will help produce better quality cocoa.
The MoU between MCB and Universiti Malaysia Pahang is to develop healthcare products and e-nose sensor technology based on extracts from the cocoa tree grown.
Speaking to Bernama, Mohd Khairuddin added, “The e-nose sensor technology will use an artificial intelligent (AI) system that will match the human senses to strengthen the quality inspection of cocoa beans through the recognition of smell, taste and active ingredient profile.”