SEPANG: More people in China will be able to enjoy one of Malaysia’s best durians after the first chartered flight flew 20 tonnes of whole Musang King to Henan province.
Malaysia’s special envoy to China Tan Kok Wai said the country aimed to export about 8,000 tonnes of durians annually, valued at around 800 million yuan (RM470mil), via chartered flights.
“Less than 1% of the Chinese population have tasted Musang King durian and exporting whole fruits to China will allow us to expand the market even further, ” he said, adding that there would be up to three flights transporting 20 tonnes of durians to Henan each week.
Tan said this at a soft launch to send the first batch of Musang King to Henan’s capital Zhengzhou.
The inaugural chartered flight was a result of the China (Henan)-Malaysia Agriculture Supply Chain Platform that aimed to promote and strengthen agricultural trade between the two countries.
Tan said he hoped that other provinces in China would also be encouraged to open their doors to Malaysian durian exports.
The new exports would complement existing durian tourism in Malaysia, where tourists would come in droves to taste the fruits directly from the farm, he added.
“Many Chinese tourists have expressed their enthusiasm for visiting Malaysia after tasting durian as some of them would also like to visit orchards to taste fresh ones, ” he said, adding that the move would boost Chinese arrivals to Malaysia.
Malaysia began exporting whole durian fruits to China in June.
Previously, only durian slices and pastes were exported to China or added to other food products such as ice-cream.