PUCHONG: All local durian operators, especially Bumiputeras, need to start growing durian on a large scale to enable it to be marketed to China in the next five to six years, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

Mohamad said the effort needs to start from now following the signing of the Phytosanitary Requirements Protocol for the Export of Fresh Durian from Malaysia to China yesterday.

He said the success of the signing between the two countries should be utilised because durian export is a high-value business and could help raise the income of local entrepreneurs.

“We (Malaysia) have officially signed with China yesterday. After this, our durian will be exported directly to China by following the rules and licenses set and so on.

“If growers work hard from now on, in between five and six years they will get results,“ he told reporters after attending the Malaysian Fish Development Board’s sacrificial programme here today.

Mohamad said the government will always provide support and assistance to entrepreneurs in ensuring that the durian produced from local farms is of good quality and suitable for export to China.

“Grow any type of durian, but it must be of good quality for export,“ he said while citing recent international media reports on the increasing demand for durians and requests from the global population.

Yesterday, Malaysia and China signed the protocol in a Memorandum of Understanding Exchange ceremony witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Chinese counterpart, Li Qiang.

For the record, Malaysia was previously granted export market access to China for durian in the form of pulp and paste in 2011 and whole frozen durian fruit in 2018.

China is the main durian export market from Malaysia with an export value of RM887 million in 2022.

In other developments, Mohamad said the supply of rice in the market is stable to meet the needs of the people of this country.

“If we look at the recent Aidiladha celebration, the entire location in the country (rice supply) is stable but we are constantly monitoring. If there is a shortage, we will immediately act,“ he said.