May 31, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – Instead of waiting for mature durians to drop from the trees, orchard owners here are switching to harvesting durians by engaging Thai merchants who offer higher prices.
Thai merchants are offering higher prices for durians plucked from trees. Such a durian is 10% heavier than a mature durian.
Many durian orchard owners see the trend as a breakthrough for owners to break away from local merchants.
Another advantage is that a bucket of durians graded by local merchants as only 10% grade “A” are given 70% grade “A” by Thai merchants, hence their better prices.
Apart from higher returns, durian orchard owners also save labor costs without having to hire local workers to collect the durians.
Currently Grade “A” Musang King is sold to local merchants at RM30 per kilogram, while Thai merchants would pay RM34 per kilogram.
It is learned that a team of Thai merchants have set up their base in Raub, and orchard owners here are lining up to engage their service.
Durian orchard owners sign agreements with Thai merchants to pluck durians from the trees.
Some orchard owners are nevertheless worried that a different harvesting method could affect the quality of Musang King durians which farm owners have taken years to build the reputation in China.