Tapping on demand for durian

Customers choosing durians at one of the 20 stalls set up in Kampung Cina, Kedah. — Bernama

DURIAN season is here again and villagers in Pendang, Kedah, who are mostly rubber tappers are looking forward to making side income by selling durians from their orchards.

A check by Bernama at Kampung Titi Akar, Kampung Padang Durian and Kampung Cina at the Padang Kerbau sub-district, found 20 makeshift stalls along the Kuala Nerang-Sik main road.

“I believe we can earn more just by selling durians, instead of tapping rubber. We can earn good income from the durian crop in just two months,” said Zainol Ariffin, 54, a from Kampung Padang Durian.

According to Zainol, each day he could sell about 500kg of durians, worth about RM5,000.

He said the durians were sourced from his orchard as well as neighbouring ones.

“Every time when the durian season is here, durian lovers will come here for their fill of the King of Fruits.

“Here, we have plenty of durian variants to choose from. The fruits are fresh and more importantly, they are reasonably priced, starting from as low as RM5 per kg for the durian kampung or homegrown durians,” he said.

He said the more popular types of durians were the Musang King, D24 and crossbred varieties.

Zainol noted that most of his customers were from Alor Setar, Pokok Sena, Yan and Kuala Nerang.

“A majority of the traders here are Siamese. They are a friendly lot and not particular about the price,” said Zainol, who has been selling durians for the past 20 years.

Another seller, Khuan a/l Keam, 54, said due to the encouraging response from customers, he decided to sells his fruits directly to the buyers, instead of using a middleman.

“When the harvest is good, we would usually sell them to the middlemen.

“But this year, since there are not that many fruits to offer, I opted to sell them myself.

“Therefore, we will not go out to tap rubber for the moment,” said Khuan who has about 100 durian trees of the kampung, D24 and monh tong variants at his orchard.

Customer Salmah Senik, 60, said each year she would not miss the chance to buy durians here because they were cheap and were sold at wholesale price, when bought in large quantity.

“The traders here are also accommodating, and you are assured of the quality as they are fresh from the orchards,” said Salmah, who regularly travels from Kuala Nerang to buy about RM70 worth of durians on every visit.

Another customer, Aziz Ishak, 50, from Kepala Batas near Jitra, said the durians sold in this area were not only of various types, but also of much better quality.

“I enjoy shopping for durians here because I can get a good bargain. And, if I am lucky enough, I can get them as low as RM3 per kg,” he said.

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