JOHOR BARU: With the King of Fruits gaining international fame, the Agricultural Protection and Development Association of Malaysia has called for the setting up of a national durian research and development centre to achieve the fruit’s fullest potential.
Its president Chai Chen Hing said durian achieved fame, particularly in China, thanks to the Musang King species, which could fetch more than RM100 per kg.
“There should be a research and development (R&D) centre dedicated to improving and maintaining the growth of durian, to study the types of fertilisers suitable for the fruit and ways to prevent diseases,” he said yesterday.
He said Budget 2018 has allocated RM6.5bil to the agriculture sector and hopefully the Government would consider the proposal positively.
Currently all R&D for durians was done by the private sector and it would be helpful if the Government was more supportive towards farmers in their effort to export the fruits globally.
“This included allowing more land to be used as durian plantations in order to meet the high demand,” he said.
Chai said currently Malaysia was only allowed to export pre-packed durian fruits to China as whole durian fruits were not allowed.
“I know many people complaining about the high price of durian because of the Chinese market, but try and look at it from the farmer’s point of view.
“We should be proud that our Musang King has made a name for itself in many countries,” he said.