KUALA LUMPUR: The Musang King durian is just as popular as Apple’s new iPhone X in China, according to Agriculture and Agro-Based industry minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Speaking about the sales of the “King of fruits” in China, Shabery told the Dewan Rakyat today that it is second only to the other “fruit” product.
“In China there are people who say there were two reasons for long queues. First is during the launch of the iPhone X and secondly, is due to the Malaysian durian,” he said during the Dewan Rakyat Question Time.
“In US and Europe, they are proud of exporting oranges and grapes.
“We do not have another high-value fruit export, perhaps other than pineapples. So that is why durians are extraordinary,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to Sim Tong Him (Independent-Kota Melaka) who asked about the efforts taken to ensure the prices of local fruits remain low in the country as compared with local fruits sold overseas.
Shabery said he realised the price of durians in Malaysia has gone up, especially the price of Musang King, which is said to be going for as much as RM100 per kilo.
“However, the reason (for the increase) is not due to export to China but due to the season. The pricing is affected by the supply as durians have two seasons, with the first season in July and the second in November,” he said.
He added that there are currently 1.5 million durian trees and 500,000 musang king trees under the agriculture ministry, of which 30% was exported and the remainder available for sale within Malaysia.
According to Shabery, the export levels to China was still low and the government was looking at ways to increase the sale of the fruit there.
“China has huge potential because the Chinese favour Malaysian durian. We held a durian festival in Nanning attended by 160,000 people.”
However, he said durians could only be sold frozen overseas and the government was looking at ways to export the fruit in other ways.