China has become Malaysia’s new international market for the premium pineapple variety, MD2, following the durian’s success in penetrating the country last May.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin said with this new market, the ministry is confident of achieving RM350 million in total pineapple exports this year, compared with RM343 million (USD82.43 million) recorded last year.
“The country’s pineapple industry is expected to have an annual growth rate of five per cent per annum based on the growing trend and acceptance of the Malaysian pineapple.
“The national pineapple production in 2019 is projected to be worth RM530 million (USD127.37 million) compared to RM502 million (USD 120.6 million) in 2018,” he told the media after the launch of the first Malaysian chartered flight to deliver pineapples from Malaysia to Zhengzhou, China, here today.
Also present were Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd group chief executive officer, Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin, and Malaysia’s special envoy to China, Tan Kok Wai.
Sim said in terms of export, Malaysian pineapple products have penetrated 20 countries, with major importing countries including Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China, the Middle East and Europe.
He said there are currently about 16,500 hectares of pineapple plantation, of which 2,500 hectares is planted with the MD2 variety.
Sim said Linghang International (M) Sdn Bhd’s (LHM) move to export MD2 pineapples to China will open up opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs to market their products through exporting companies.
“LHM’s efforts will definitely increase the number of pineapple exports from Malaysia, especially to China.
“I understand that LHM will export the pineapples via three cargo chartered flights per week, a total of at least 2,000 tonnes of pineapples a year — an estimated export volume worth RM12 million (USD2.88 million),” he said.
He added that the scheduled chartered flight to Zhengzhou would enhance and strengthen bilateral trade relationship between Malaysia and China.
Meanwhile, Sim said after durian and pineapple, the ministry will be looking at exporting jackfruit, cempedak, the star fruit and rambutan.