Penang durian sellers get nod to sell fruit in markets during MCO

Durians nearing maturity are pictured at the Karuna Hill orchard in Balik Pulau April 22, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Durians nearing maturity are pictured at the Karuna Hill orchard in Balik Pulau April 22, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, , April 22 — This durian season in Penang will be different from before, with roadside durian stalls barred during the movement control order (MCO).

However, Penangites can go to the nearest market to purchase the pungent fruit.

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has allocated 254 market stalls in nine wet markets all over the island for durian sellers and farmers to sell their durians.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the offer is open to registered durian farmers and sellers.

“Since they are no longer allowed to sell in roadside stalls, they have the option to apply for the stalls in any of the nine markets to sell their durians,” he said.

MBPP will be opening up the registration for durian farmers and sellers to apply for the market stalls under its Business From Farm (BFF) initiative.

“The registration will be from today 12pm until 12pm on April 28,” he said in a press conference at Karuna Hill, a durian farm in Balik Pulau today.

He said if the city council receives more than 254 applications for the stalls, balloting will be held to determine who gets the stalls.

The stalls are located in markets in Farlim, Air Itam, Paya Terubong, Jalan Permai and many others.

The rental for each stall will be RM7 daily and RM200 per month to clear the durian shells.

He stressed that the public will not be allowed to travel to any of durian farm in Balik Pulau to buy the fruit during the MCO.

“Durian farms and sellers are encouraged to sell their durians online and deliver them to customers,” he said.

He said Penang has six large wholesalers and they are allowed to sell online as well as deliver the fruit to their customers.

“They can also sign up for the council’s Jom Beli Online platform to sell their durians,” he said.

He noted that about 20 durian sellers are already conducting sales online through various social media platforms.

He said the city council’s MCO travel card will allow durian sellers to deliver the fruit to customers all over the island.

“We will give priority to durian sellers and farmers to apply for the MCO travel cards so that they are able to deliver their durians to customers,” he said.

He said the card will allow sellers to travel from districts in the southwest, such as Balik Pulau and Gertak Sanggul, to other areas.

Penang has about 200 durian farms on the island.

Durian season starts this month, with each season lasting about three months.

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