Drop in durian harvest expected next season

JOHOR BARU: Durian lovers may have to pay more to enjoy the king of fruits next season, which is expected between May and July.

Malaysian Fruit Farmer’s association vice-president Francis Hong Sun Ho (pic) said they expected a significant drop in harvest following the Johor floods which had affected many orchards in the state.

“This time, the flood happened during the flowering season, which is a critical time as it determines how many fruits farmers would get.

“The continuous rain, coupled with the floods, caused flowers to fall before it could grow into fruits.

“Some trees, especially those that were only a few years old, did not survive the floods,” he told The Star.

He said Johor was among the top producers of durian in the country.

“Durian farmers in most districts, including those in Segamat, Batu Pahat, Kulai and Kota Tinggi, had been affected by the floods.

“We expect to see a drop of more than 50% in durian production from Johor this year and this will surely affect the price of the fruit.”

Han Chan Yong, who owns a 2.83ha orchard in Chaah, Segamat, said he only expected to get 1,000 fruits during its season in June.

“Initially, I thought I could produce 10,000.

“The floods had also killed about six of my trees, including those that are over 10 years old,” said the 80-year-old.

Tee Pian Lam, 65, said while his orchards were not hit by floods, their production was affected by the rainy season.

“The flowering season started around mid-February and that was when we were experiencing heavy rain almost every day. That caused the flowers in my orchards in Muar and Kota Tinggi to fall.

“I believe the production of durians will definitely be very low this year as not only farms that were hit by the floods are affected but those that experience heavy rain are also going to see less yield,” he said.

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