The Malaysian durian remains the country’s top fruit with 377,251 tons produced in 2019, according to the Agriculture Department. Its figures show that durian is planted on a total of 70,286ha of land – this is almost equal to the size of Singapore, which is 72,830ha in terms of land area. Malaysia’s durians are also proving to be resilient in the face of the pandemic.
The country’s durian season started in May, but the lockdown has made it hard to buy the fruit directly from stalls or by the roadside. To get around the problem, many farmers and traders are now selling their durian online. The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) has worked with e-commerce platform Shopee to set up a Durian e-Fiesta from July 10-31, with 217 durian sellers nationwide getting on board.
Malaysia’s durian processing factories are also helping to keep farm prices stable. Fama has 13 fruit processing centres and there are 33 companies licensed to process durian into frozen paste or pulp for export to China.