PUTRAJAYA: 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.
“We hope that more companies will be able to get 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, Bai Tian.
Salahuddin said the ministry was confident that enough durian would be produced to meet local, international and Chinese demand.
He said 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 variants such as Musang King and Black Thorn.
“Negotiations with China in the past few years have resulted in the opening of more commercial durian farms, thus giving a boost to production,” he said, adding 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. — Bernama