Palm oil plantation accumulates 1,330,036 hectares of land, while cocoa plantation builds up to 224.8 hectares of Sabah state.
Initially, cocoa cultivation began at Ranau in 1998. According to the infographic by Department of Statistic Malaysia, cocoa cultivation has grown into other districts such as Tawau, Sandakan, and Kudat.
Source: Department of Statistics, Sabah
Most of cocoa cultivations are controlled by smallholders which then export cocoa beans, processed cocoa butter, and cocoa powder to other countries.
Then, it will be processed into cocoa-based products such as chocolate and butter production, flavouring in cakes, creams, drinks and toppings, and other cocoa-based food delicacies.
However, over the years, Sabah has witnessed a reduction in cocoa production as cocoa plantation and cultivation lands wither. Besides, more space was allocated for palm oil plantation according to the data from Khazanah Research Institute.
Source: Khazanah Research Institute
If the vision of developing Malaysia as the King of Chocolate is to be achieved, shouldn’t the cocoa production in the country be increased?