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Durian supply down by nearly 60pc, says group
Published on: Monday, May 16, 2022
By: FMT
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Durian prices are set to increase by 10% this year because of shortage, say farmers. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The durian supply has gone down by nearly 60% because of factors like bad weather and pests while prices are set to increase by 10% this year, says a durian farmers’ group.

Save Musang King Alliance (Samka) president Wilson Chang said the supply issues also meant that most durian farmers did not dare to export the thorny fruit overseas, according to a Sinar Harian report.

“This durian season has been unstable and the fruits are not as nice. There’s no other alternative to stop the pests. Some of the durian trees might die. It could take one or two years to nurse them back to health,” he said.

Chang said the rise in prices was also caused by an increase in operating costs and the price of fertilisers, which was affected by the Russia-Ukraine war.

“While the Musang King durian used to be sold for RM45 per kg before this, the price is estimated to exceed RM55 per kg this year,” he said, maintaining that this was not exorbitant.

On Saturday, deputy agriculture and food industry minister Ahmad Hamzah said durian prices were expected to almost double this year, following a 50% drop in production because of weather conditions.

Prices for the Black Thorn variety are expected to exceed RM100 per kg while Musang King will be priced between RM60 to RM80 per kg, depending on grade, compared to RM30 to RM40 per kg previously.

Chang urged Putrajaya to think of a way to address the issue of pests.

“We would like to discuss the matter with the agriculture and food industry ministry and the federal agricultural marketing authority (Fama) to find a solution. Or else, our annual stock will decrease further,” he said.

He added that the upcoming durian season was expected to only last for three months, from June to August.

Meanwhile, a durian farmer at Kampung Teluk Ira in Temerloh, Pahang, told the Malay daily that only one tree in his 20-tree farm had borne fruit so far.

Abd Manan Ishak, 63, blamed it on the unpredictable weather, adding that he was also expecting a small amount of produce this time around.

“If this continues, durian prices will definitely go up,” said Manan, who usually produced a premium variety of the thorny fruit known as the Chok Villa.

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