RAUB, Sept 13 — National durian production is expected to increase to 443,000 metric tonnes by 2030, said Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) marketing and export division secretary, Khalid Ibrahim.
He said the projection is based on the 2019 Crop Statistics (Food Crop Sub-sector) after the country recorded 72,536ha of durian cultivation and production of 384,170 metric tonnes last year.
Khalid said Pahang, Johor and Sarawak are the chief contributors to national durian production, with 89,916 metric tonnes coming from Pahang, 87,838 metric tonnes from Johor and 34,650 metric tonnes from Sarawak.
“Raub in Pahang is the main producer of Musang King durian. This district has 11,201.2ha of land cultivated with durian and a production of 70,650 metric tonnes worth RM1.3 billion.
“Musang King (D197), D24, Duri IOI (D168) and Durian Kampung are the popular varieties grown here,” he said at a Durio Tour @ Raub 2020 programme recently.
Khalid added that a total 23,381 metric tonnes of durian worth RM118.2 million was exported in 2018 and that the country’s five major export destinations for durian are Singapore, Hong Kong, US, China and Vietnam.
In October 2019, MAFI told farmers and tourism industry players that it wanted to step up durio-tourism to attract more foreign tourists but the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way.
However, Khalid is still optimistic the country will achieve its aim after a new method of promotion was introduced using social media and the participation of several local university students from China.
“During the Durio Tour @ Raub 2020 programme, MAFI brought six China international students, five media influencers and two Chinese embassy representatives on an orchard and durian discovery.
“These social media influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers. I think that their videos will go viral here and in China,” he said.
Khalid hopes that the promotion will be continued to help increase demand and the export value of durian to China, as well as show international durian lovers how to tell the Musang King and other durian varieties available in the market apart.
He said that the programme is also aimed at strengthening ties between durian industry players and MAFI, including promoting Malaysia as the world’s top producer of premium durian and newer products by the agro-food sector.
Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) market promotion senior director, Rosilawati Abu Hassan, said the programme will have a positive impact on demand from China for frozen durian, increasing its export value.
“The Musang King durian exported to China is premium quality. It is brought directly from the orchard to the factory for the freezing process to maintain it quality.
“The freezing process is done on the same day. First the durian is cleaned then it goes into a blast freezer at -80˚C to -110˚C for at least an hour.
“Next, it is vacuum packed and kept in a cold room at -18˚C. It will stay fresh for up to six months here. During the journey to China, it will be stored at -18˚C as well, to prevent damage,” she said.
Rosilawati said that as at Feb 25, there were 14 whole fruit durian freezing facilities with approval from the General Administration of Customs China (GACC), including PHG. Ever Fresh Food (M) Sdn Bhd, Top Fruits Sdn Bhd, Exofruits Industry Sdn Bhd, JL Food Industries Sdn Bhd and Kami Food Services Sdn Bhd.
This time, the Durio Tour @ Raub 2020 visited Dataran Durian, Zamri Othman Agro Farm, Lembah Temir Resort and PHG. Ever Fresh Food (M) Sdn Bhd.