New pepper planters in Sarawak, Malaysia, are encouraged to plant the Kuching or Semongok Aman variety. Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin said the cultivation of the ‘Kuching’ variety is for white pepper and the ‘Semongok Aman’ variety for black pepper.

“Our farmers used to plant mixed varieties in one farm, which might have affected the quality of our white and black pepper. Now that the Malaysia Pepper Board (MPB) has found the suitable varieties for white and black pepper, I want every farmer, especially new ones, to plant these two varieties,” he told a press conference after the launch of MPB research and development findings: Pepper Support Pole Manual and Pepper Variety Manual in Malaysia.

Willie believed that the Pepper Varieties Manual in Malaysia would enable entrepreneurs to identify the type of pepper because it is important to determine their productivity and yield.

He said the suitability of a pepper variety depends on the morphological characteristics of the pepper seeds and the aroma quality index that has been evaluated by MPB researchers.

Malaysia is the world’s fifth-largest pepper producer after Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Brazil. “However, Sarawak pepper is in high demand in the international market due to its premium quality and unique aroma.

“Efforts are being intensified to increase the productivity and sustainability of pepper crops through biotechnology, agronomy, breeding, and crop protection studies to produce high-yielding crops that are more resistant to diseases and pests.”

Read the complete article at www.theborneopost.com.