JOHOR BAHRU – Durian lovers may have to pay more to enjoy the king of fruit in the next harvest season, expected between May and July.
Malaysia Fruit Farmers Association vice-president Francis Hong Sun Ho said he is expecting a significant drop in harvest following the Johor floods, which affected many orchards in the state.
“This time, the flood happened during the flowering season, which is a critical time, as it determines how many fruits farmers would get,” he told The Star.
“The continuous rain, coupled with the floods, caused flowers to fall before they could grow into fruits.
“Some trees, especially those that were only a few years old, did not survive the floods.”
He said Johor is among the top producers of durian in the country.
“Durian farmers in most districts, including those in Segamat, Batu Pahat, Kulai and Kota Tinggi, had been affected by the floods.
“We expect to see a drop of more than 50 per cent in durian production from Johor this year, and this will surely affect the price.”
Mr Han Chan Yong, who owns a 2.83ha orchard in Chaah, Segamat, said he expects to get only a 1,000-strong harvest in June.
“Initially, I thought I could produce 10,000. The floods also killed about six of my trees, including those that are over 10 years old,” added the 80-year-old.
Mr Tee Pian Lam, 65, said that while his orchards were not hit by the floods, their production has been affected by the rainy season.
“The flowering season started around mid-February and that was when we were experiencing heavy rain almost every day. That caused the flowers in my orchards in Muar and Kota Tinggi to fall.
“I believe the production of durians will definitely be very low this year, as not only farms that were hit by the floods are affected but those that experienced heavy rain are also going to see less yield,” he noted. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK