The collecting, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) for durian in Tarat -on Borneo- has helped farmers to earn some extra money from their surplus durian fruits. The CPPC began operations on December 30th 2019. Without the CPPC, these surplus durians would have gone to waste.
During its initial days of operation, the centre received 300 to 500 fruits every day from the farmers but now it is buying over 10,000 tonnes of durians daily, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah yesterday. Uggah, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said this after officiating at the soft opening of the Tarat CPPC.
The Tarat CPPC is a former Agriculture Department centre for processing pepper. It was refurbished into the CPPC last year plus the necessary equipment at a cost of over RM5 million. Uggah said the government was keen to see the industry develop further because of the huge demand for local durians, especially from China.
“Our emphasis is to maintain the existing 426,000 matured trees. But in all, plus the Musang King, we have 890,212 trees state-wide. And we still have plenty of land,” he pointed out.
Top Fruit Sarawak managing director Chong Yie Loong said many local farmers had expressed their gratefulness over the existence of the CPPC. “It had helped them to earn extra income for their fruits which they would have left at their gardens to rot if they were not collected or if there were no buyers,” he said.
Chong said he was glad to note that the indigenous species were considered as good as the Musang King by durian lovers in China.