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Malaysia: Demand for MD2 pineapple variety strong, likely to continue

The demand for Malaysian pineapples, especially MD2 variety, is strong and likely to continue to grow, bolstered by innovations in juice, fresh cut and prepared food sectors.

Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) chairman, Datuk Samsolbari Jamali, said MD2, a hybrid pineapple, was well-received by the world market due to its sweeter taste, high vitamin C content and longer shelf life.

"The demand in the local and world markets is high and increasing," he told reporters at the recent Agriculture Marketing and Investment Mission (AMIM) to Dubai.

He said the world demand for fresh pineapples was projected to grow by five per cent a year due to the increase in population and consumption.

"The demand for Malaysian pineapples is projected to increase from 350,000 metric tonnes (MT) per year in 2013 to 700,000 MT in 2020," he said.

Samsolbari said the production of MD2 was projected to increase by 70 per cent from 16,875 MT to 63,500 MT in 2016, while the hectarage under MD2 cultivation would be increased from 375 hectares (ha) in 2013 to 5,000 ha in 2020.

He said due to its high value, the Malaysian government has categorised MD2 pineapple as one of the crops that would be commercially grown.

Samsolbari said total hectarage under pineapple cultivation in Malaysia was 15,872 ha and approximately 84 per cent of pineapples were destined for domestic fresh market, 10 per cent for processed and six per cent for export fresh market. He said the country's target for pineapple plantations by 2020 was 22,589 ha.

Singapore and Middle East were the key markets for fresh pineapples where in 2013 Singapore accounted for 75 per cent and United Arab Emirates (UAE) 16 per cent, he said.

Samsolbari said in the Middle East, UAE was the largest importer of Malaysian pineapples with market share of 64 per cent, followed by Egypt (18 per cent), Saudi Arabia (16 per cent), Jordan (one per cent) and Pakistan (one per cent).

In 2013, he said, Malaysia exported 4,288 MT of fresh pineapples to the Middle East with the value of RM6.5 million and canned pineapple 1,545 MT with a value of RM2.7 million.

He said country's pineapple industry has tremendous potentials for further development and expansion following the strong demand from foreign markets.

Samsolbari said before AMIM, many importers had indicated their interests to increase the purchase of Malaysian pineapples, especially for the MD2. He said besides the high returns, the risk of disease attack was low and also there was a ready market.

Malaysia is the world's 15th largest pineapple producer and exports about 100 million MT of pineapple annually to 15 countries including Dubai, Singapore, Jordan, Japan and South Korea.

Source: bernama.com.my

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