KUALA LUMPUR: In a country where eating can be qualified as a national pastime, the move to launch eating durian as a new culture is likely to strike the right chord with the people.
The first frenzied lap of the three-day Durian Fiesta 2016 kicked off on Friday at Dataran Merdeka yesterday, drawing not only Malaysians, but also tourists from abroad.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that the festival would now be slated to be held annually in order to ramp up the production and sales of durian and other local fruits.
“We want to make our local fruits, especially durian, as the launchpad for a new national festival,” he told reporters after launching the fiesta.
He said durian popularity was on the rise and its export, which was RM60mil last year, was expected to jump to RM400mil in the next few years.
He said the Government hoped to foster a new culture among Malaysians, whereby the month of August would be a durian-eating month with the aim of rekindling the spirit of Merdeka.
Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority director Datuk Ahmad Ishak said the move was apt as it could foster closer ties and the culture of friendship among the people.
“We have ‘sportstainment’, ‘edutainment’, and now we also have ‘agrotainment’ which means that durian does not only serve as a food, but it is also a food of celebration.
“That’s what we call a durian party or in Malay as KenDurian.”
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