Will Malaysia's 'King of Fruits' be the next cash crop?
BEAM Team 4 Dec, 2017
With the suitable technological investments to increase crop yield and more foreign exposure, the "King of Fruits" has the potential to emerge as the next cash crop for Malaysia.
The fruit brought in a sales volume of RM1.97 billion in 2016 from the 66,038ha of land utilized for durian plantations, reported New Straits Times.
Durian is farmed on roughly half the land utilized for the total cultivation of fruits in 2016, as stated by the nation's Agriculture Department.
Durian farmers yielded 302,000 tonnes of the fruit, claimed by the report released on Sunday( Dec 3).
Given the high price tag it now demands, the "King of Fruits" has all the traits for success, as stated by New Straits Times.
In 2013, the typical market price for the popular Musang King, or Mao Shan Wang durian, was RM36.50 per kg, however the price had actually soared by 42% to an average price of RM90 per kg this year.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek mentioned in a trade fair back in August that the export value of durian was RM74 million in 2015.
The incomes are anticipated to grow by 10% this year, with durian prices rising primarily by surging demands from China, where the Musang King had been well received by.
The crop can serve as an alternative to diversify Malaysia's farming sector, analysts informed the paper.
"It is obvious that durian is the most profitable cash crop from a value per acre perspective," stated durian businessman Simon Chin, prompting the Malaysian federal government to take the lead.
Farmers on the ground have actually experienced a hint of the fruit's lucrative potential.
"Many farmers have been cultivating more durian trees over the last few years, however it will take a minimum of 6 years for the trees to start bearing fruit, and an extra 3 to 4 years for the trees to reach their prime age for fruit production," mentioned 43-year-old durian expert Lim Chin Khee.
The agriculture science graduate from Universiti Putra Malaysia had actually devoted more than 20 years educating farmers on ways to construct durian farms, crop husbandry, along with the typical blunders that impact the characteristic of the fruit.
Mr Lim, a primary speaker at the International Durian Conference in Melaka recently, claimed the environments for raising production of durian crops were certainly favourable in the nation.
As a start, Malaysia is gifted with adequate land ideal for durian farming with suitable terrain for desirable durian farming.
"Yet, at the same time, numerous efforts at extensive durian farming had actually been unsuccessful," stated Mr Lim.
"Compared with oil palm, for instance, durian has its very own specific water and fertiliser requirements."
More recent and more popular durian assortments, such as Musang King and Musang Queen, are more demanding in their cultivation, stated Mr Lim.