Jackfruit in demand


Golden treats: After 20 years of negotiations, the first batch of Malaysian jackfruit is set to be exported to China by the end of the year.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian jackfruit, with its unique sweetness, crunchy texture, and golden yellow colour, has piqued the interest of Chinese importers after its debut in China in September, say industry players.

Exporter Dr Tan Sue Yee said the J33 honey jackfruit and J34 golden jackfruit have garnered the attention of the Chinese market.

The introduction of Malaysian jackfruit to China came with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s launch of the first shipment at the 20th China-Asean Expo in Nanning in September, marking a significant milestone for the industry.

He said his company’s discussions with Chinese importers are now underway, with the first batch of exports expected to be sent by the end of the year.

Dr Tan added that despite the promising potential, challenges lie ahead, including price positioning and export quantities.

“With a year-round fruit and high demand in the vast Chinese market, Malaysian farmers are gearing up to increase production to meet the demand,” he said when contacted.

Richard Thain, a jackfruit farmer, said the quality and varieties of Malaysian jackfruit surpass those of other countries.

He added that seven jackfruit farms in Malaysia have obtained export approval from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).

“It’s anticipated that Malaysian jackfruit could command a selling price in China that’s 60% higher than that of varieties from our neighbours such as Thailand and Vietnam.

“Specific quality criteria, such as a minimum weight of 10kg, AA grading and stringent shape requirements, must be met for export,” he said.

Another farmer, Francis Hong, said two importers had expressed interest in cooperating to export Malaysian jackfruit to China.

Hong believes that the Malaysian jackfruit’s superior qualities will set it apart from its competitors from Thailand and Vietnam when it comes to the Chinese market.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Chan Foong Hin said Malaysia’s jackfruit exports are currently valued at RM15mil, with expectations of reaching RM22.1mil by 2025 following the fresh exports to China.

Negotiations with Chinese officials to establish this export opportunity began nearly two decades ago, making this debut a significant achievement.

During the 45th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry held from Oct 5-8, GACC reached six agreements with the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to expand agricultural produce trade between Malaysia and China, provided both countries meet the necessary phytosanitary requirements.

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