Penang expects durian revenues to triple during extended season

By Minh Hieu   June 4, 2024 | 11:34 pm PT
Penang, known for its premium durians, anticipates generating over RM1 billion (US$213.1 million) in durian sales this year, with the harvest season extending three times longer than last year.

Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security, and Cooperative Development Committee Chairman Fahmi Zainol estimated that durian revenue will triple as the season spans three months, from June to August, compared to just one month in June last year.

This picture taken on July 8, 2020 shows durians displayed for sale in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by AFP

This picture taken on July 8, 2020 shows durians displayed for sale in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by AFP

Last year, durian production was 20,082 tons, and at RM15 per kilogram, sales amounted to RM301 million, he told the Malay Mail.

This figure accounts only for domestic sales, excluding exports.

With last year's durian season lasting only a month in June, this year's extended season, driven by prolonged hot weather, could push sales up to RM1 billion, Fahmi forecasted.

Penang durians are renowned for their quality and taste, attracting visitors from nearby countries to the Malaysian island.

Penang’s Tourism and Creative Economy Committee Chairman Wong Hon Wai told the Malay Mail that the local government has created a pamphlet listing durian stalls, farms, and estates across the island state, which it plans to distribute at international tourism trade shows to boost tourism.

While the prolonged hot weather has resulted in a longer durian season for Penang, it has impacted yields in other regions of the country.

Tina Chong, a durian orchard operator in Gua Musang, a town in Kelantan, Malaysia, told state news agency Bernama that her farm’s production has dropped 70% from last year due to hot weather and erratic rainfall.

The same weather pattern has also delayed harvest in Johor, Malaysia’s main producer of the fruit.

"It's possible that the yield will be much lower this year because the weather is out of sync (with the usual pattern)," durian consultant Lim Chin Kee, who owns plantations in Raub, Pahang, told CNA.

Penang, especially its town of Balik Pulau, is home to numerous durian orchards producing some of the finest varieties, including Black Thorn, Musang King, and Ang Heh (Red Prawn).

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