To all durian lovers, here’s something that may disappoint you.
According to Malay Mail, you may have to pay more for the fruit due to several reasons, ranging from lower yields due to unprecedented heavy rainfall, labour shortage, and the scarcity of fertilizers as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
A durian farmer explained that the durian trees normally require a minimum of 14 days of dry weather to allow their flower to bloom. However, due to the excessive rainfall, there would be more vegetative growth but no flowering on the trees.
He also estimated that the output for varieties such as Musang King and Black Thorn will decrease by as much as 60% to 80% in farms across states like Penang, Johor, and Pahang.
In addition, farmers pointed out that the cost of fertilizer had almost doubled since the beginning of the year and this had cost their operating costs to go up fivefold.
As a result, farmers said the price of the Black Thorn variety of durian would cost buyers around RM100 per kilogram instead of the usual RM80, while the price of Musang King could be expected to be over RM60 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, the problem is made worse by the high demand for durian coming from China and it is common for the fruit to be sent to a market that gives a better price. Following behind China, Singapore and Hong Kong is Malaysia’s main destination for exported durians.
In the coming months, farmers expect prices will increase steeply and that this year’s durian season could be postponed to October. However, prices could fall if there is better weather in May.
Nonetheless, there is still hope as many more farmers are joining the bandwagon to plant durian trees and more orchards moving to adopt smart technologies that will help farmers rely less on manual labour and external resources such as fertilizer.