JOHOR BAHRU, Nov 27 — The global pineapple market is growing with rising demand coming from countries like Europe and China, so it would be good if pineapple producers focussed their research and development (R&D) on increasing efficiency, automated harvesting and product diversification.
Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) chairman, Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kasim, said product development will add value to the industry, while automated pineapple picking will optimise the harvesting period because fruit can deteriorate if processed late.
“I’ve already seen a few companies using drones and such in production and harvesting, but it is not enough. We must see how we can automate this process,” he said in his speech at the 2019 Pineapple Industry Potential Seminar today attended by 81 industry players.
At the event which was also attended by LPNM director-general, Ruhaida Mashhor eight companies received an LPNM matching grant incentive totalling RM392,185.
Abdul Malik believes pineapple has the potential be developed into cosmetics and healthcare items too, and not just associated with juice and jam.
“We want other than that. There are a lot of findings and research that have yet to be commercialised, so big players should examine this aspect of R&D,” he said.
Regarding market penetration, he said besides China, big companies could include Bosnia and Germany too as they are gateways to Balkan and European nations.
However, he cautioned, Malaysia must ensure good quality and increase efficiency.