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Saturday, September 14, 2019


SOARING DEMAND for DURIAN (Durio zibethinus) in China is being blamed for a new wave of deforestation in Malaysia in which environmentalists warning vast amounts of jungle is being cleared to make way for massive plantations of the spiky and pungent fruit. Grown across tropical Southeast Asia whereby the durian is hailed as the "king of fruits" by fans who liken its creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese. But detractors say durians stink of sewage and stale vomit. The strong smell means many hotels across the region have banned guests from bringing them to rooms, while Singapore does not allow the fruit on its subway system. Nevertheless they are a hit in China and the increase in demand has prompted exporters to vie for a bigger share of the burgeoning market. Growers in Malaysia are increasingly shifting from small orchards to industrial-scale operations - a trend that environmentalists warn presents a new threat to rainforests already challenged by loggers and palm oil plantations. Right now for me durians are gaining a lot of attention from the Chinese market. Issue about deforestation for planting of durians is in preparation to meet that demand is a gimmick.  In the jungle-clad district of Raub in central Malaysia, swathes of rainforest have recently been chopped down to make way for a new plantation with durian seedlings protected by netting planted across bare hillsides. The plantation is next to an area of protected forest, which is home to a kaleidoscope of animals, from monkeys to exotic birds. A river reported to be now murky and filled with trunks and branches from logging runs close by. A sign outside the plantation said it was run by Ample Harvest Produce, but company staff refused to comment when contacted about the loss of trees in the area. This article in ''Anim Agro Technology'' I will discussed about durian export to China and the challanges for all readers. 

According to Malaysia Agriculture Minister YB Salahuddin, the Frozen durian exports to China to reach 1,000 metric tonnes monthly. Reports from The Star and News Network at Sepang Airport the first of chartered flight with shipments of whole Musang King durian fruits is on its way to Henan province in China and more are expected to follow soon. Malaysia's special envoy to China, Mr Tan Kok Wai said the nation is aiming to export about 8,000 tonnes of durian annually valued at around 800 million yuan (S$155 million) via chartered flights. Less than 1 per cent of the Chinese population have tasted Musang King before and exporting the whole fruits to China will allow us to expand the market even further. Mr Tan said this after a soft launch to ship the first 20 tonnes of Musang King to the Henan capital that was Zhengzhou. Many Chinese tourists have expressed their enthusiasm to visit Malaysia after tasting durian as some of them would also like to visit the durian orchards to test fresh durians. Malaysia began to export whole durian fruits to China in June. Previously only durian slices and pastes were exported to China for consumption and flavouring of other foods products such as ice cream. Last year, Malaysia's total durian export to China was valued at RM9.44 million in 235.62 tonnesFirst of the chartered flight ferrying whole durian fruits to China takes off from Malaysia's Sepang witnessed by Malaysia's special envoy to China is aiming to export about 8,000 tonnes of durian annually valued at around 800 million yuan via chartered flights.

In other statement YB Salahuddin also mention at Putrajaya that The Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry expects about 1,000 metric tonnes of Malaysia’s frozen whole durian to enter the Chinese market every month. Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the export protocol was signed on Aug 20 last year in Beijing, China, adding that exports of the king of fruits was expected to contribute close to RM500 million to the nation’s total export value annually. Five companies were given the green light to export the fruit to China - Exofruits Industry Sdn Bhd, JL Food Industries Sdn Bhd, PHG Ever Fresh Food (M) Sdn Bhd, Top Fruits Sdn Bhd and KAMI Food Services Sdn Bhd. They hope that more companies will be able to get the permission to export the fruit soon. He said at an event which commemorates the inaugural export of Malaysian frozen whole durian to China here today. Also present was China’s Ambassador to Malaysia known as Bai Tian. The ministry was confident that enough durian would be produced to meet local, international and Chinese demand. Durian production rose to 341,000 metric tonnes last year from 211,000 metric tonnes in 2017, and was expected to keep increasing, especially premium varieties such as Musang King and Black ThornNegotiations with China in the past few years have resulted in the opening of more commercial durian farms, thus giving a boost to production., Currently that Malaysia’s efforts to penetrate the Chinese market began in 2007. Malaysia began exporting frozen durian in the form of pulp and paste in May 2011. Last year, the country’s total durian exports to China stood at RM9.44 million or 235.62 metric tonnes. 

Malaysia is all geared to satisfy China’s craving for a pungent, football-sized thorny fruit. That’s because China’s General Administration of Customs has approved imports of frozen whole durian fruit starting May 30 following an agreement signed in August said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin. Now China has approves import of frozen durian from Malaysia. The durian market in China is so big but we’ve only managed to export a little durian pulp and frozen paste to China. The export of whole frozen durians will open the market to durian farmers and increase their income. China currently imports around 300,000 metric tons of durian each year that mainly from Thailand. Malaysia ships only 17,000 tons or 5.8 per cent of its annual production, mainly to Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, the US and China. Durian often invokes a love or hate relationship: aficionados describe the internal yellow carpels as a rich, butter-like custard, with hints of chives and caramel in whipped cream. Others are repulsed by its polarising smell, which has been likened to rotting garbage and dirty gym socks. Durian devotees in China are embracing different foods incorporating the fruit such as yogurt, cookies, coffee and pizza. However, getting the whole fruit is a rare treat: a Malaysian durian festival in southern China late 2017 attracted about 165,000 people lining up to taste the thawed, whole-fruit samples of the country’s premium Musang King variety. China’s skyrocketing demand won’t drive up prices as many farmers have started planting durians and production may increase. Malaysia is also looking to boost production of durian products like ice cream and biscuits also attract tourists to durian farms as part of what it calls "DurioTourism''. The tourist may spent time at durian orchard for their durian original taste.

Recently the Thai farmers are being urged to improve the quality of their durian in order to preserve market share after China's Hainan province succeeded in growing durian seedlings imported from Malaysia. According to Ms Wanlada Rattanapanich that was director of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) office in Nanning, China has said the department has watched as China attempted for quite some time to grow durian trees. Currently she said that a private company in Hainan province bought 20 'Sanno' durian seedlings from Malaysia and succeeded in growing them in Sanya city in southern Hainan. According to Mr Feng Xuejie that was the president of the Hainan Tropical Fruit Institute, revealed that growing durian in China has always been a challenge for local farmers, as durian trees need more space than typical fruits and usually take four to eight years to bear fruit. They have been trying to grow durian trees for decades, but the results were mostly unsatisfactory, such as small fruit and insipid taste. Although the latest attempt to grow Sanno durians from Malaysia was quite a success, there is still the risk of failure if the farming areas cannot control the weather conditions like we did in the lab and test plots. Ms Wanlada added that although Hainan is still unable to produce sufficient quantity or quality for domestic consumption or export, with continued research and development they could become a future competitor to Thailand. Currently more than 80 per cent of fresh durians in the Chinese market are imported from Thailand. And to preserve the market share, Thai farmers need to maintain and improve the quality of our product especially in terms of fruit size and unique taste. I hope the durian industry in this region grow so that many more durian farmers enjoy the market share in future. Thanks for share this information. Wasallam!...

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana, 
Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah,
(12 Muharram 1441H).
Published from:
Room 106, Hotel Orchid, 
Tenom, Sabah.

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