Export value of Malaysia’s tropical fruits on the rise – Ahmad Hamzah

SEREMBAN,. The average value of Malaysia’s tropical fruit exports increased by 12.29 per cent per annum from 2015 to 2018, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.

He said exports grew from RM821.5 million in 2015 to RM1.124 billion in 2018, while the value of imports of tropical fruits also increased by 9.95 per cent per annum, from about RM1.2 million in 2015 to RM1. 5 million in 2018.

“Malaysian fruits such as durian, jackfruit, papaya, watermelon, banana, mangosteen and rambutan have great potential for export, especially to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States,” he said in his closing speech at the Agriculture Department’s familiarisation programme between agro-food producers and exporters (crops) here yesterday.

Also in attendance was Deputy Director-General of Agriculture (Industrial Development and Development) Eliyas Saad.

“Other fruits that have export potential are the star fruit, jackfruit, mango, guava, dragon fruit, ciku and pineapple. The high demand for Malaysian tropical fruits is due to our climate and soil which is suitable for producing fruits that are better-tasting than fruits from other Asean countries,” Ahmad added.

He said for this year, the estimated average export value is RM1.417 billion and it is expected to increase to RM2.52 billion in 2025, while the expected value of imports is poised to reduce from RM1.904 billion in 2021 to RM1.633 billion in 2025.

“The increase in exports and reduction in imports will contribute to Malaysia’s trade value by RM2.791 billion in 2025, and it is expected to increase until 2030,” he said.

Ahmad said this year, the Agriculture Department’s primary focus is on durian, jackfruit, papaya and watermelon cultivation to increase production to meet export needs.

“Malaysia’s tropical fruit export statistics show that durian has a high value in the global market. In 2015, its export value stood at RM64.9 million, while it was RM118.2 million in 2018.

“The expected production of premium durian in the country is 348,170 metric tonnes (mt) on 72,536 hectares of land this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, on today’s programme, Ahmad said it was the Agriculture Department’s main focus and best approach in accelerating the development process of the country’s agro-food industry along the production value chain.

“At the production stage, the cooperation between strategic partners of the Agriculture Department benefits both parties involving farmers (contract growers) with private agricultural companies (anchor).

“This will increase productivity or generate the volume that can guarantee the market and increase the income of entrepreneurs and the national economy,” he said.

Ahmad also said that at the marketing level, it involves the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama), wholesalers, supermarkets, retailers, exporters and importers.

“Apart from that, this cooperation is also implemented between departments and agencies under the ministry and other relevant ministries,” he said.

To achieve the country’s desire to emerge as a leading tropical fruit producer, Ahmad hopes more contract farming will be created, with durian, jackfruit, papaya and watermelon being the main focus.

The three-day programme ends tomorrow and has been attended by 150 participants so far, with 112 of them being farmers, exporting companies (four), e-commerce companies (two), while the rest were agricultural development and agro-based industry officials from the state Agriculture Department.

Eliyas, in his speech, said such programmes had been held seven times previously to establish contract farming cooperation between major producers, private companies, and fruit and vegetable growers nationwide.

“To date, a total of 100 contracts have been created involving a value of more than RM10 million,” he said.

-— Bernama

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