Fama chief: Selling durians by weight is the norm today

The smell of durian caused more than 500 people to evacuate from the University of Canberra Library on May 10, 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Durian lovers should not boycott traders who sell durians by weight as the marketing system has changed and proven to be fair, says Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) director-general Datuk Ahmad Ishak.

He said the timbang kilo (sell by weight) marketing system is accepted and this has made durian prices – especially from orchards – more competitive.

"Previously, the durian kampung prices at orchards was very low and the fruit was sold in bulk to the wholesaler. But now, farmers market their durians to traders by the kilo.

"So this has simplified the calculation system and is fair. That is why traders are selling durians by weight and rarely sell them in piles," he said when met at the My Best Buy (MBB) and Direct Sales from the Farm (JTDL) programme, which was attended by Fama chairman Ishak Ismail, at the Fama headquarters in Selayang Friday (June 28).

He was commenting on social media campaigns asking people to boycott the sale of durians by weight as a sign of protest as durians could fetch up to RM100 each if sold this way.

Some social media users justify their calls for boycott by claiming that the durian skin itself can weigh a few kilogrammes.

Ahmad said when buying durians by weight, buyers may sometimes get a bad fruit, and it is advisable for them to weigh the fruit and ask the traders to cut it to see if the flesh is edible.

He added that since the price of durians depends on supply and demand, lovers of the King of Fruits are advised to buy it during a full season.

Fama is targeting sales of RM5mil for the JTDL programme this year after recording sales of RM3.26mil last year with the involvement of 819 farming entrepreneurs.

Between January and May this year, Ahmad said, Fama recorded sales of almost RM2mil with 421 farming entrepreneurs.

"With six months remaining in the year, we are actively managing various programmes including finding new locations and working together with eight more supermarkets this year," he said.

JTDL, which involves contract farm participants, is conducted once a week at selected locations in each region with a selling price at five to 20% cheaper than the market price. –Bernama

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