THE Department of Agriculture in Johor hopes to sell over RM2.2 billion worth of durian this year, with 32% of the fruit coming from Johor.
Its deputy director for development, Mohd Hafiz Ramly, said Johor was one of the biggest durian producers in the country, with more than 30,000 durian producers to date.
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“As of July, we had 31,255 durian growers in the state managing 25,004 ha of durian farms.
“This year we are targeting a total production of 125,000 tonnes of durian with an estimated sale of around RM2.2 billion,” he said, adding that the final figure would be released by the Ministry of Agriculture. .
Major durian producers in the state are in Tangkak, Batu Pahat, Muar and Segamat, he said.
Mohd Hafiz added that Segamat, known as the “King of Fruit District”, is the largest producer of high quality durian.
“It may not be the biggest producer in terms of volume, but in terms of quality, Segamat’s durian is the best,” he said, adding that the season in Johor will end soon.
Durian prices, in general, have remained the same and only differ in how durian stall owners market their product, he said.
“There are places where Musang King is sold for RM20 per kg and RM50 per kg.
“It all depends on the quality, grade and how sellers promote their product.
“Our residents are also generally more health conscious these days since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and are spending their money wisely,” he added.
Mohd Hafiz also said the department is currently offering agricultural incentives for all types of crops next year.
“We have received RM15 million from the federal and state governments to help farmers no matter what kind of plants they have.
“The average incentive given is around RM20,000 per hectare of land,” he said, adding that the incentive would be given in the form of sowing seeds, clearing plantations, establishing fencing, fertilizer and other agricultural necessities.
Only about 60% of local farmers are aware of the incentive, and the department hopes more will apply, Mohd Hafiz said.
“All applications will be reviewed in October this year and approved in November.
“Farmers will receive their incentive by February 2023,” he said, adding that the incentive was an annual program.
Those who submit their application late will be registered as 2024 beneficiaries.
For this year, the department received RM15mil which benefited 1,322 farmers.
The Deputy Director (Operations) of the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) Johor, Azizi Azimi Mat Nayan, said that Johor has exported durian to 20 countries this year.
“Our main export destinations are Thailand, Australia, Brunei, Canada and the UK, with 217 tonnes through May this year.
“We also sent our durians to Spain, France, Macau and Kuwait during the same period,” he said, adding that durian production also fell by 20% this year compared to the previous year. last year’s figure.
This is likely due to the high cost of inputs, caused by lack of labour, fertilizer and pest control which have affected production.
“This could have resulted in smaller durians on the market, but even then they can still be sold.
“It is normal to see smaller fruits at the beginning and end of the season,” he added.
Azizi Azimi also said that the durian season in Johor is different from that in Penang, Perak and Pahang.