JOHOR BARU, June 23 — The Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) aims to increase the production of MD2 premium pineapples to 50 per cent under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to meet high demand in the local and foreign markets.
Its director-general Mohd Khairuzamri M Salleh said that to achieve the target, LPNM plans to increase the country’s area of pineapple plantations to 20,000 hectares from 16,000 hectares when the focus is on the MD2 variety.
Currently, he said, the variety only covers 16 per cent of the country’s total pineapple crop.
“Because this pineapple could not only be planted singly but can also be planted with other crops such as oil palm, rubber and so on.
“So we take this spirit where we establish cooperation with various government and private agencies, large estates, large private industry players such as Felda and FGV (where) we establish strategic cooperation by encouraging pineapple cultivation to be done together with existing commodities.
“This is one of our strategies, otherwise we cannot achieve our target because the land in Malaysia is limited,” he told Bernama recently.
Apart from that, Mohd Khairuzamri said pineapple exports are expected to continue to grow by five per cent per year during the 12MP period (2021-2025).
In 2019, the country’s pineapple exports recorded a total of RM493 million compared to RM343 million in 2018.
He said Malaysia exported pineapples to over 20 countries with the five main countries importing Malaysian pineapple products being Singapore, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, China and Japan.
“LPNM also actively promotes pineapple as a fruit full of nutrients and benefits. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and bromelain enzymes in addition to other important nutrients that are beneficial in preventing disease and improving the body’s immune system.”
Apart from focusing on the MD2 variety, LPNM also plans to increase downstream product activities not only focusing on food products alone but also the manufacture of non-food products such as pineapple thread, health and beauty products and feed pellets. — Bernama