Superfish Growers have begun farming the world’s most expensive melon originating from Japan in greenhouses at the Agrotechnology Park in Kg Tungku. Siblings and founders of Superfish, Eileen Lee Hui Shi and Lee Wei Sheng, stated last week that they’ve exported their first commercial harvest of 15 tonnes at a wholesale price of $20 per kg to Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Once ripe, the Japanese Arus muskmelon weighs in at 1.5 kg on average and can easily fetch over $100 in retail stores. They are typically bought by customers as luxury gifts or served in high-end restaurants in Japan.
Lee, who is also Superfish’s Chief Technology Officer, said they would be investing over $3 million to set up nine greenhouses in Tungku by the year’s end to achieve their short-term target of producing 380 tonnes of muskmelons worth $3.8 million annually by 2020.
“We have acquired the highest quality Arus (muskmelon) seeds from Japan which are suitable for planting in Brunei’s warm climate year-round,” he said. “Of the nine greenhouses, six are being run by four local (contract) farming businesses who we have jointly invested in.”
By 2023, Superfish is forecasting production to increase to 1,140 tonnes worth $11.4 million annually, as the global muskmelon market is expected to grow to $413 million with China being the biggest importer.