Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong informed that the cocoa industry has led to more than 25,000 employment opportunities in 2015 and has also grew by 3 percent. Malaysia now aims to become the King of Chocolate in Asia as the local cocoa industry drew RM5 billion in exports in 2015.
The figure has been the highest so far and is a result of the high demand and stable prices of cocoa. The minister has assured that efforts are being made to increase the production of cocoa and make Malaysia the next king of chocolate in Asia. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization said that Indonesia is the top producer of cocoa in Asia.
Mah Siew Keong in his opening address said, “It is estimated that the cocoa industry contributed a total of RM1.566billion (US$380 million) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), consisting of RM16 million (US$3.86 million) from the upstream sector and RM1.406 billion (US$340 million)from the downstream sector”. The minister added that the cocoa industry opened 25,000 employment opportunities for the locals in 2015. And its confectionary and chocolate based manufacturing sector expanded to a total of 3 percent.
One of the main challenges that is faced by the industry is the imbalance between the processing industry and the local cocoa production.
Photo Credits: straitstimes