Pepper, the fruit of the tropical climbing vine Piper nigrum L. is the world's most widely traded spice. Pepper's pungent, spicy flavor makes it a saporous addition to many cuisines around the globe. In Sarawak, pepper cultivation dates back to 1856 but more extensive planting started in the 1900s. Today, Sarawak contributes to nearly 98% of Malaysian pepper and supporting the livelihood of about 67,000 rural dwellers in upland areas of Sarawak. The crop was actively planted until it was hit by the massive flood, fluctuation of the price and outbreak of root rot and nematodes. High yielding cultivars such as Kuching, Semenggok Emas and Semenggok Aman provided promise for better production, but resulted in increased soil degradation and reduced crop growth in Sarawak.
Our research group, Sarawak Pepper Farm @ UPM Bintulu project aims to address the issues faced by Sarawak pepper farmers. We have implemented nine projects, each to tackle a specific issue arise in the Sarawak pepper industry, which range from pest and disease to marketability. Our group have also established a 4 acres Sarawak Pepper farm at Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Campus (UPMKB) as experimental research plot.
97008 Bintulu, Sarawak,