Agricultural sector players must be ready to meet demand from China — Ahmad Shabery

NANNING: Agricultural industry players in Malaysia, especially for ‘Musang King’ durian, must start making thorough preparations to meet demand from the huge China market, as exports to the republic are projected to breach RM12 billion annually by 2020.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the issue of getting approval for fresh durian to enter China was no longer a concern following positive response from the Chinese government and local residents, but the concern was on Malaysia’s own capability to meet their market demand.

“We are aware that demand for agricultural products from Malaysia, especially durian, has huge potential in China…based on our calculation, if we can reach just 30 per cent of demand from China, we can achieve trade value of RM12 billion. We can realise this target by 2020.

“For example, one company in China has requested the supply of about 600 tonnes of durian per month, this is from just one company. And this requires thorough preparation to meet the needs from China,” he said to reporters after launching the Malaysia Durian Festival 2017 (MDF2017) in Nanning, Guangxi, China, recently.

MDF2017, which is held here for three days from November 3, is an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to promote fresh Musang King durian and other durian-based products such as ice cream and coffee as well as other fresh products including honey jackfruit, pineapple and bird’s nest.

Commenting on the response from local residents to the festival, Ahmad Shabery said the ministry’s tagline ‘Durian Brings Happiness’ had become a reality as the response was very encouraging.

“The response was tremendous and it (festival) brings happiness just like our tagline, as many people were queuing up from morning to taste the Musang King durian.

“This is a new chapter in our agriculture world as we have successfully put Malaysia’s product in the spotlight at the durian festival,” he said.

Ahmad Shabery said following the encouraging response, the ministry had received applications from other cities in China to organise such festivals in their regions.

“Now there are requests not only from Nanning but other cities such as Hanjiao, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Beijing for us to carry out agricultural road shows like the durian festival. We will continue to promote not only durian, but also jackfruit and pineapple, and aquaculture products like shrimp,” he added. — Bernama

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