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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Potential of Malaysian Fruits

A mixed orchard farm at Dusun Nukleus Lenga, Muar, Johor. Is it Commercial Scale?

Fruit industry in Malaysia has given a new lifelines with the introduction of Balance of Trades (BOT) strategy under Ministry of Agriculture. The hectarage of fruit area was stable at 281,223 hectare in 2006 to only 275,650 in 2009 and estimated only 282,680 hectare in 2010. In case of production stable at 1,699,800 kg in 2009. The target of this sub sector is to achieve a positive balance of RM 1.34 billion in 2010 compared to a negative balance about RM 223 million in 2005. The aspiration is to produce more tropical fruit to create Malaysia as an net tropical fruit exporter. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share an information related to potential tropical fruit industry in Malaysia.

Types of fruit targeted for this sector was Papaya (Carica papaya), Durian (Durio zigbethinus), Banana ( Musa spp), Seedless Watermelon (Citrullus lunatus), Starfruit (Averhoa carambola), Pineapple (Ananas comosus), Rambutan (Nephellium lappacium) and Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). Major importing countries from Malaysia was Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong, China, The Natherlands, Germany, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The curent production of Malaysian Fruit was estimated 1.767 metric tonnes in 2009 with Pineapple as the main produced (400.0 metric tone) followed by Durian (288.9 mt), Banana (383.2 mt) and Watermelon (228.8 mt).

The new potential Malaysian Fruit was Dragon Fruit (Hylocerus undatus), Pomelo (Citrus grandis), Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Salacca (Salacca gabrescens) and Longan (Dimocarpus longan). Recently there was a problem in Pitaya production due to the Ervinia disease in Southern Peninsular Malaysia cause reduction in export activity. Citrus greening disease also cause problem in citrus production but not affect Pomelo seriously. The increasing numbers of commercial tropical fruit grower rely on government policies and private driven commitments.

New variety and modern farming technology has to be introduced to the farmers so that more profitability and quality produce with higher price obtained by farmers. Grading and Packaging Technology must improve so that the export activity and marketing channel available for farmers. Marketing of tropical fruit is becoming very competitive with the different safety and quality standards set by customers. It also involves other inputs such as Services (Logistic and Communication), Organization, Human Resource and Innovation. The new integrated marketing system and strategies such an appointment of agriculture attache and accreditation schemes (SALM, SOM, Malaysia's Best) should be there in the system. Aggressive promotion and campaign establishment will make Malaysia to compete in global market. Amigos!


M Anem
Senior Agronomist
DOA Muar,
Johor, Malaysia.
(Updated on 16 January 2015)

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