Malaysia’s Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Sim Tze Tzin has refuted a nightmare scenario for his durian loving countrymen, that claimed that Malaysians will have no durians left if demand for the 'king of fruits' increases in China.
"We are producing 300,000 tons of durians a year, currently exporting 5.8% -or 17,000 tons- to China. In comparison, Thailand exports 300,000 tons a year and if China has the same demand for durians from Malaysia, there will be none left here," he said.
However, he assured the people that there is an adequate supply of durians for locals, as China only imported premium durian varieties. Only 23% -or 69,000 tons- of durians produced are considered premium durians.
Sim said demand for durians in China is expected to rise following the recent agreement to export durians in whole fruit form. "That is why we need a durian strategy which will increase downstream durian products and promote it as an attraction."
According to thestar.com.my, there are 204 varieties of durians registered with the Agriculture Department, of which 12 varieties have good commercial value and strong demand. The six premium varieties include D24, D160 (Musang Queen), D168 (Hajah Hasmah), D197 (Musang King), D200 (Ochee) and D99.