KOTA KINABALU, April 7 — Malaysia’s pineapple exports showed an upward trend from 2016 to 2020 with increasing demand from China and the Middle East, especially for MD2 and local variants such as N36 and Josapine.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said China is a high-potential export destination with demand for premium pineapples such as MD2.
He said in 2020, the areas cultivated with pineapple totalled 17,228 hectares or equivalent to 9.5 per cent of the total fruit cultivation areas in the country.
“The pineapple cultivation area is concentrated in the south of Peninsular Malaysia while Sabah is the third major pineapple producer state and contributed to 6.1 per cent of pineapple cultivation acreage in Malaysia,” he said.
He said this at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI), Sabah Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAFS) and Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) here today.
MAFI was represented by its secretary-general Datuk Haslina Abdul Hamid while MAFS by its permanent secretary Datuk Dr Mariana Tinggal and LPNM by its director-general Mohd Khairuzamri M Salleh.
Also present was Sabah Deputy Chief Minister II and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
Ronald said based on the pineapple production data in 2020, the productivity of pineapple per hectare in Sabah decreased to 14.92 million tonnes from 15.6 tonnes in 2016.
He said Sabah has the potential to expand the exports productivity of pineapple with an estimated production value of RM643 million within five years until 2025.
Ronald said a total of RM1 million had been allocated to Sabah as a start-up fund to boost the pineapple industry in the state this year.
He said this is the first step in achieving the aspirations of pineapple cultivation and enterprise in the state.
“Sabah targets pineapple production for the next five years to be 200,000 tonnes on 1,500 hectares of land,” he said.
At the event, Ronald and Jeffrey also witnessed the signing of an MoU between Agrobank, represented by its president and chief executive officer Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Raja Hussin, and Sabah Economic Development Corporation (Sedco), represented by its group general manager Haizar Ajaz NabiJanuary
Another MoU signing witnessed by Ronald and Jeffrey is between the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (Mardi), represented by its director-general Datuk Mohamad Zabawi Abdul Ghani, and Karkun Sdn Bhd, represented by its chief executive officer Rizal Ajmin, related to collaboration in the development of tomato-based product entrepreneurs. — Bernama