Durians for a flavourful National Day

Ahmad Shabery Cheek

KUALA LUMPUR: The month of August and National Day celebrations will be getting a durian flavour, with plans to hold the Malaysian Durian Fiesta as an annual event.

Agriculture minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the yearly event would be held every August in conjunction with the fruits season and National Day celebration.

“Today marks a beginning to a durian fiesta event and we want to turn it to an annual event. We want to cultivate a culture among Malaysians to make August as durian-eating month, as well as to enliven the National Day celebration,” he told reporters after launching the Durian Fiesta at Dataran Merdeka today.

He said durian exports had reached RM60 million last year and the government was expecting export revenue for the ‘king of fruits’ to reach up to RM400 million in years to come.

The three-day event at Dataran Merdeka, which began yesterday, is expected to record RM1 million in sales.

Besides Kuala Lumpur, the programme is also being held for three days beginning today in Raub, Pahang; Gopeng, Perak; Balik Pulau, Penang; Singapore; and Hong Kong.

Shabery said the event, spearheaded by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, was well-received by the private sector ordering Fama-produced durians for durian parties at their offices.

The Durian Fiesta features sale of local fruits, durian-based products, cooking demonstrations using durian, and a durian-eating competition.

Shabery also flagged off an international durian hunt and durian fun run.