GEORGE TOWN, Oct 19 — The Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry (MOA) hopes that durian entrepreneurs and planters can escalate durian-based agro-tourism activities before the 2020 Visit Malaysia Year (VMY2020).
MOA deputy minister Sim Tze Tzin said Malaysian durians had received various recognitions worldwide and it should be used as a form of tourist attraction.
According to him, agro-tourism based on “Durian Tourism” should be used as one of the new resources by 2020 along with the government aspiration to increase tourist visits.
“Based on the high demand in the domestic and foreign markets, the country’s durian quality and variety are capable of becoming a new source of attraction for travellers to visit the country,” he told reporters after the Durian Tourism Engagement Session with northern region industry players here today.
Sim said the output of durian every year was indeed sufficient for the local market and also for export.
“But when demand is expected to rise with the advent of VMY2020, I hope that orchard owners will join the Malaysian Good Agricultural Practices (MyGap) scheme to increase production to meet the market demand,” he said.
He added, the average durian output in the country was 252,000 metric tonnes each year.
Sim said the ministry did not aspire to block the export of durian even though the output dropped due to erratic weather.
“Our output target is 1,000 metric tonnes of durian every month to be exported to China within three years,” he said.
The total area planted with durian in Malaysia last year was recorded at 72,464 hectares with a harvest of 251,910 metric tonnes, and 23,381 metric tonnes worth RM118.2 million were exported. — Bernama