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Sabah chamber visits Johor fruit farms
Published on: Tuesday, September 19, 2023
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Sabah chamber visits Johor fruit farms
Liew with Malaysian Fruit Farmers’ Association President Dato’ Lawrence Ting and others visiting a durian processing plant in Johor.
Kota Kinabalu: A delegation led by Datuk Frankie Liew from Sabah China Chamber of Commerce recently visited several major fruit farming giants in Johor and toured orchards as well as processing facilities there. 

They emphasised the need for Sabah to establish a complete industry chain encompassing production, processing, and sales to tap into larger domestic and international markets, improve product quality, and strengthen its competitive advantage.

“We have also invited fruit farming experts and leaders from Johor to visit Sabah next time to assist in boosting Sabah’s fruit and agriculture development. We are pleased that they are seriously considering it,” said Frankie.

The delegation from the Sabah China Chamber of Commerce conducted a three-day fact-finding mission in Johor on Sept 6. On hand to accompany Frankie were Deputy President Brett Chua and Director of Public Relations, Datuk Simon Teoh and his wife.

Frankie expressed his gratitude for the meticulous arrangements made by Dato’ Lawrence Ting during this trip, as well as the guidance and hospitality provided by prominent figures in the Johor fruit farming industry, which greatly enriched their knowledge and broadened their horizons.

Lawrence also believes that if Sabah were to develop fruit cultivation on a large scale in the future, it must focus on food processing technology to stabilise market prices.

Under Lawrence’s arrangement, the group visited durian processing plant, Dawang Food Industries Sdn Bhd, where they were briefed on the latest durian rapid freezing and processing technologies. It is worth noting that Dawang’s durian products are not only sold domestically but are primarily exported to the Chinese market.

The delegation also visited the fresh fruit processing facility of visiting Kia Shing Importers & Exporters Sdn Bhd & Kia Shing Foodtec Sdn Bhd, which specialises in products for the Singaporean and local markets. They gained insights on the processing procedures for fruits such as bananas, dragon fruit, and guavas.

Later, the group visited fruit orchards owned by Hong Jok Hon, a local industry leader. 

“Hong’s fruit orchards covers a vast area of 2,000 acres and cultivates an impressive variety of 14 different fruits, including durians, papayas, passion fruit, oranges, calamondins, dragon fruit, lemons, and guavas,” Liew said, adding that its fruit sales account for an astonishing 40pc of the supply in the Singaporean fruit market!”“Fruits are now being harvested daily, and their quality is exceptional.

In addition to exporting calamondin and orange juice to China, they have also entered the Middle Eastern market. Despite achieving such remarkable success, Mr Hong continues to strive for improvement, investing millions of ringgit in the construction of a durian processing and rapid freezing facility covering nearly an acre,” Frankie said. 

During the visit, they also met with Alvins Lo, President of Persatuan Pekebun Buah-Buahan Negeri Johor and Acting President of The Federation of Malaysia Fruit Farmers Association (FMFFA), Hong Jok Hon, Honorary Advisor of Malaysia Fruit Farmers Association, Johor Fruit Farmers Association’s Secretary, Melvin Long, Chairman of Johor Fruit Farmers’ Youth Group, Koven Lo, Dawang Food Industries Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Chris Low, Long Teng Resource Sdn Bhd’s Chairman, Dato’ Koh Kim Toon and Construction Low.

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