MALAYSIANS will not have any durian to savour if all of the fruits are exported to China, says Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Sim Tze Tzin.
“We are producing 300,000 tonnes of durians a year while we are currently exporting 5.8%, or 17,000 tonnes to China.
“On comparison, Thailand exports 300,000 tonnes a year
“And if China has the same demand for durians from Malaysia, there will be none left here,” he said in ministerial reply on issues raised during debates on the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
However, he gave the assurance that there is adequate supply of durians for Malaysians to enjoy as China was only importing premium durian varieties.
He noted that only 23% or 69,000 tonnes of durians produced were considered premium durians, such as the Musang King.
Sim said demand for durians in China is expected to rise following the recent agreement to export whole durian to the country.
“That is why we need a ‘durian strategy’ which aims to increase downstream durian products and promote it as an attraction,” he added.
There are 204 varieties of durians registered with the Agriculture Department, of which 12 possessed good commercial value and strong demand.
The six premium varieties included the D24, D160 (Musang Queen), D168 (Hajah Hasmah), D197 (Musang King), D200 (Ochee) and D99.