Focusing on quality over quantity resonates with global consumers, paving way for Malaysia to be key exporter: Deputy minister

PETALING JAYA: The durian industry in the country is expected to experience significant growth in the global market, reaching RM238.4 billion by 2033.

This represents a substantial increase from the RM118.93 billion recorded in 2023, said Agriculture and Food Security Deputy Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup.

Celebrating the Durian Manufacturer Association’s first anniversary on Monday, Kurup said the Malaysian durian industry has become a significant contributor to the nation’s economy.

“In recent years, we have seen remarkable growth in durian production.

“In 2022, Malaysia produced 455,458 metric tons of durian, and this number is expected to grow to 505,853 metric tons by 2025.

“Additionally, the compound annual growth rate of 7.2% from 2023 to 2033 of the durian industry offers a world of opportunity for Malaysia,” he said.

He added that the growing number serves as a clear indicator of the potential and vitality of the durian industry.

Kurup said with the majority of durian plantations dedicated to premium varieties like “Musang King”, the country has carved out a significant niche in the international market.

He said the focus on quality over quantity resonates with global consumers, enhancing Malaysia’s reputation as a producer of the finest durians with its rich history and deep cultural roots.

Kurup said Malaysia is positioned to claim a substantial market share with the renowned “Musang King” variety, and burgeoning technologies will significantly enhance its market presence.

“Malaysia’s durian exports have shown a commendable increase in value, reaching RM1.23 billion by the end of 2022, a growth of 168% compared with 2019.

“This is a clear signal of increasing global demand and Malaysia’s rising prominence as a key durian exporter.”

He said exporting durians presents a valuable opportunity for Malaysia to generate revenue and boost its agricultural sector.

The government will put in place a protocol for the export of fresh durians this year.

Durian Manufacturer Association president Eric Chan Yee Hong said the association’s formation is a significant step towards realising the collective vision of making Malaysia the global destination for durian exports.

“Our vision is clear, to make Malaysian durian a global icon. This ambitious goal is not merely a statement of intent but a commitment to elevate Malaysian durians to unparalleled heights of recognition and appreciation worldwide.”

Chan said establishing the association and uniting durian farmers has not been easy, but they persevered.

“Former rivals among our members have evolved into trusted allies and are united in advancing the industry.”

He added that the association has 11 members consisting of durian farmers and product manufacturers, who collectively command over 75% of the market share in Malaysia.

The primary challenge for the industry revolves around competition from producers in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia, while maintaining the quality and pricing of durians is crucial, Chan said.

The association’s first-anniversary celebration also highlighted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Kuala Lumpur-Zhengzhou Durian Exclusive Chartered Air Cargo Route.

Chan said the MoU signifies a milestone for the association and heralds a new era of growth and opportunity for the Malaysian durian industry.

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