During the 2nd and 3rd May 2019, International Pepper Community in collaboration with Malaysian Pepper Board hosted the 8th Meeting of the IPC Committee on R & D in Kuching, Sarawak. The Meeting which was opened by the Executive Director of IPC, Mrs. Hoang Thi Lien, was officiated and inaugurated by the General Director of Malaysian Pepper Board, Mr. Stanley Liew JK and the representative of the Malaysian Ministry of Primary Industry. This two-days meeting was attended by experts in Research and Development of pepper from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.
The Meeting, chaired by Mr. Santhosh J Eapen from Indian Institute of Spice Research (IISR), mainly deliberated on the revision of the IPC Books; Good Agriculture Practices and Pests and Diseases of Black Pepper and also updates on the research and development activities, MRLs and also the cost of production in each respective country. The IPC books are scheduled to be re-published with the new revision in the third quarter of 2019. In addition to discussing the draft of the IPC Committee on R & D Work Plan for the year 2019/2020 which included works Focus on Pepper, Training videos Content, Human Capital Training and many other, the Meeting also ventured the possibilities of developing molecular data analysis of authentic varieties of respective member countries in order to identify fraudulent or mixed pepper. Furthermore, the Meeting also elaborated on the IPC Farmers App project which had been successfully launched for India, Indonesia and Viet Nam, and venturing the implementation of IPC Farmers App project for Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
On the second day of the Meeting, participants from IPC member countries were brought to some of the pepper farms in Sarawak, Malaysia. Participants were able to see first-hand the pepper field and cultivation practice applied in Sarawak as well as its most common varieties. Furthermore, participants were also able to converse directly with farmers on the pests and diseases, fertilizers, irrigations and others applied by the farmers to their pepper.