Malaysia gets green light to export frozen durian in whole fruit form to China

Azura Abas

PUTRAJAYA: Durians, the whole fruit form, from Malaysia are making inroads into China with the signing of an agreement in China today.

Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub signed a protocol on the need to conduct inspection and quarantine for the export of frozen durian from Malaysia to China, which was also signed by China’s Minister of General Administration of Customs Ni Yuefeng.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

“The export approval reflects China’s confidence in Malaysia’s agricultural produce, from the aspect of its hygiene, safety and even taste.

“Before this, Malaysia gained access to China’s market for frozen durian in pulp and paste forms since November 2007.

“With this recent green light, we expect to start exporting frozen durians in the whole fruit form early of next year,” said the Agriculture and Agro-based ministry in a statement.

To meet the protocol which had been agreed upon, the ministry said, Malaysia was required to produce a list of Malaysian Good Agricultural Practice (MyGAP) certified farms as well as durian processing facilities and other requirements for China’s approval before the export could start.

“The ministry urges all durian farms and processing facility operators to constantly uphold the international standards so that Malaysia’s products can continue to compete with others globally.”

The ministry also stressed that Malaysians should not worry about durian supply shortage in the local market or fear that the King of Fruits would be sold at exorbitant prices because only farms and processing facilities that meet the criteria would get the export approval to China.

It added the ministry would constantly keep tabs on the quality of durians in the local market and was upbeat that more durian farmers adopted MyGAP.

Local durian producers, it said, should grab the market opportunity by increasing their output to meet demands from China, adding Salahuddin had also taken note of Dr Mahathir’s suggestion for durians to be grown at larger scale with systematic procedures in place just like the production of rubber and palm oil.

The ministry said the Agriculture Department had registered 204 varieties of durian and 12 of the varieties had good commercial value and strong demand.

The six popular varieties are D24, D160 (Musang Queen), D168 (Hajah Hasmah), D197 (Musang King), D200 (Ochee) and D99.

“Of the six varieties, D197 and D24 are regarded as the premium varieties,” the ministry added.

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KEYWORDS: Durians, whole fruit form, Malaysia, inroads, China, agreement, protocol, inspection, quarantine, international standards © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd