Industry players pledge to bring durian to new heights


Fruit vision: Kurup (middle) flanked by Chan (third from left) and his ministry secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali and other officials kicking off DMA’s anniversary dinner. — KAMARUL ARIFFIN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: A major grouping of players in the Malaysian durian industry has pledged to bring the industry to greater heights.

Celebrating its first anniversary yesterday, the Durian Manufacturers Association (DMA) has renewed its commitment to bringing global recognition to a diverse variety of Malaysian durians, while promoting fair trade practices for the so-called “king of fruits”.

DMA president Eric Chan said the association has 11 members comprising durian farmers and durian product manufacturers, with a local market share of 75%.

“Coming together under the association is a realisation of a long-held dream, a truly momentous occasion in our history,” said Chan, adding that the effort to bring every significant player on board had been painstaking.

“Uniting hasn’t been a simple journey, but we’ve persevered.

“We grasp the significance of nurturing our durian sector not only for personal gain but for our nation’s advancement.

“Former rivals among our members have evolved into trusted allies, united in advancing the industry over the last decade,” he said at the association’s inaugural anniversary dinner here recently.

Guests of honour included Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup and other ministry officials.

Moving forward, Chan said DMA wants to make the Malaysian durian a global icon and has laid out five key pillars to achieve it.

Among the focuses were to empower durian growers with knowledge, resources and sustainable practices, ensuring high-quality produce and fostering industry excellence; advocating environmentally sustainable durian farming practices; and championing the global recognition of Malaysian durians.

Chan said DMA also called for the promotion of fair trade practices and consumer awareness worldwide while driving innovation and research.

“We are also focused on expanding the export market for Malaysian durians.

“Leveraging their unique taste and quality, we aim to reach international consumers and establish Malaysian durians as a preferred choice worldwide,” he said.

The dinner also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Kuala Lumpur-Zhengzhou Durian Exclusive Chartered Air Cargo Route.

Chan said the MOU was a significant step forward for the durian industry, opening up new avenues for trade and collaboration between Kuala Lumpur and Zhengzhou, China.

“With the establishment of this exclusive chartered air cargo route, we are not only enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of durian transportation but also strengthening the economic ties between Malaysia and China.

“This initiative underscores DMA’s commitment to driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and unlocking the full potential of the industry,” he said.

In his speech, Kurup said the impact of the durian industry extends beyond agriculture, serving as a driving force in various sectors such as logistics, light industry and more, and contributing significantly to the national economy.

He said the upcoming collaboration for air cargo routes between Malaysia and China represents a groundbreaking development that will “revolutionise how we export durians” by ensuring the delivery of the freshest and highest quality fruit to one of Malaysia’s largest markets.

Kurup also lauded the establishment of DMA and its achievements.

“The association marks a significant milestone in achieving the collective vision of making Malaysia the top exporter for durian,” said Kurup, adding that realising the full potential of the durian industry requires collaboration, innovation and strategic partnerships.

“The government and industry players have a collective responsibility to drive growth, promote sustainability, and uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity.

“By sharing knowledge, best practices and market insights, we can strengthen our competitive advantage and position Malaysian durians as the preferred choice in the global marketplace,” he said.

Statistics showed that Malaysia exported 455,458 metric tonnes of durians in 2022, reaching a value of US$259mil (RM1.2bil), with expectations to reach 505,853 metric tonnes by 2025.

“This growth is a clear indicator of the potential and vitality of our durian industry. This represents a growth of 168% compared to 2019, signaling rising global demand and Malaysia’s emerging significance as a key exporter,” he added.

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