Fruitful news for durian farmers

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 01 May 2011

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian durian growers have a reason to smile as they can now export the King of Fruits to China.

China has opened its doors to Malaysian durians and the news was a delight to local farmers.

“It is a good first step for us,” said Malaysian Fruit Farmers Association vice-president Datuk Yap Pit Kian.

He said the market access was vital for their growing business.

China has agreed to import Malaysia’s frozen King of Fruits following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Malaysia last week.

Malaysian fruits have been barred from entering China since 2003 following a deadlock in talks over market entry.

Yap said local farmers should seize the opportunity to enhance their output and the quality of their produce.

“Fruit farming in this country has yet to reach a mature level. Farmers can improve by using technology to meet demand and expectations,” he said.

Yap hoped the Government would help the farmers by providing support such as subsidies for transportation and fertilisers so that they could be more competitive on the international market.

“The farmers are also facing manpower shortage,” he added.

Durian farmer Tina Chong of Kelantan said Thailand had been exporting durians to China for many years.

Now, a new opportunity has presented itself to Malaysian farmers, she said.

“It will help to stabilise market prices and bring a better standard of living for farmers,” she said.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong said in a statement that the ministry and Chinese government officials met on Nov 1 last year to discuss export of fruits, including durians and papayas, to China.

He said the ministry had worked towards ensuring that local farmers had enhanced standards, such as upgrading durian collection centres and fruit-freezing techniques.

“It is certainly good news that China now allows the import of durians from Malaysia.

“It is a huge market which will help to improve the income of our farmers and boost the farming sector in the international market as well,” he said.

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