KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): A total of 44 local frozen durian processing facilities have received export approval from China as of May, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Chan Foong Hin.
Based on the records of the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Chan said 41 of these facilities had been given export approval by the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) for durian in the form of cloves and paste.
Meanwhile, 20 out of the 44 processing facilities were approved for the export of durian in the form of seeds, Chan said during a special chamber session at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (May 25).
Chan was responding to Chow Yu Hui (PH-Raub), who had posed questions on the Malaysian durian market, including on the country’s plan to export durian in the form of fresh whole fruit to China.
"The ministry together with DOA are in the process of negotiating with the GACC in China to gain access to the fresh whole fruit market to China, after the success of getting a fresh jackfruit market to China,” Chan said.
“However, the shelf life factor at room temperature is a challenge for Malaysia to maintain the freshness and quality of exported durian fruit," he added.
According to the ministry, exporting durian to China in fresh whole fruit form requires the durian to be harvested before the full maturity period, in order to ensure that the skin of the durian fruit does not crack when it arrives in China.
"Compared to neighbouring countries, durians from Malaysia are harvested when the fruit reaches maturity and falls off, making the fruit's shelf life shorter and difficult to export in fresh whole fruit form to distant destinations such as China.
“For this reason, Malaysia uses the latest cryogenic deep freezing technology so that the durian fresh whole fruit can maintain its quality for a long period of time,” Chan said.
He encouraged local durian entrepreneurs to be prepared with fruit harvesting techniques that can extend the fruit's shelf life at room temperature once Malaysia gets a fresh whole fruit durian market route to China.
Besides that, Chan said the ministry, through the agricultural representative office abroad together with the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama), is actively carrying out durian promotional programmes abroad.
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