Amid the intense fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysian durian plantation owners are facing some thorny issues, from an insufficient number of workers to a big drop in demand, which is also expected to be affected by the upcoming Ramadan month.
A Balik Pulau resident said the majority of Muslims would avoid durian during Ramadan as it was considered too heavy for the breaking of fast. “And there’s only a small window for us to eat at night. You can’t eat the fruit before bedtime, ” he added.
Meanwhile, durian trader Tan Chee Keat said due to the movement control order (MCO), some plantation workers were unable to go to work. He added that many of his peers’ workers had been stopped by the authorities and asked to return home during this period.
“This is a crucial time to water the durian trees and it is difficult to manage and maintain such a large area without supporting staff. Since it is the dry season, the durian trees need a lot of water to produce good quality fruits. Without enough water, some of the durians will drop before they ripen. It is also hard to get a big and succulent fruit without proper care.”