Malaysia: Current hot season puts the heat on durian supply

The Star 12 Apr 16;

GEORGE TOWN: Even durians have taken a hit from the heat. Durian lovers will be disappointed to learn that the supply of the King of Fruits is expected to drop by up to 40% due to the hot weather.

Bao Sheng Durian Farm owner Chang Zhi Vooi said the prolonged heatwave had badly affected the durian trees.

“Due to the hot weather, the trees are not getting enough water and we have to water them everyday.

“There are seven water pipes to ‘shower’ the trees every four hours,” he said yesterday.

Chang, a third-generation farmer, said many unripe fruits had dropped off.

However, he pointed out that the durian season this year could be longer as new flowers were still blooming.

“This year, we can expect durians from May until the end of July.

“However, it will be a smaller harvest compared to last year. A tree can produce more than 200 fruits, but this year, we may get only about 100 plus,” he said.

Green Acre Sustainable Farm owner Eric Chong said the supply in his orchard was expected to drop by between 25% and 30%.

“One of my Little Red durian trees is also dying as the fruits are absorbing the nutrients from the tree, thus leaving it without the necessary minerals to survive,” he said.

Chong is hoping for rain to come soon.

Meanwhile, Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa has reminded Penangites to continue conserving water and use it wisely.

“The capacity at the Air Itam Dam stands at 61%, which can last for 60 days,” he said.

First durian harvest in May
JOLYNN FRANCIS The Star 19 Apr 16;

BALIK PULAU: Durian lovers can expect to sink their teeth into the first batch of the D604 and Kunpoh Angbak from May 1 onwards.

Bao Sheng Durian Farm owner Chang Teik Seng said these would be followed by the Lipan, D600, Kapri, Little Red, D11, Horlor, Green Skin, Green Skin Ang Bak, Kunjit, Lim Fong Jiao, and Mausan.

“All of the above will be available from May, with some spilling over to June and July.

“In June, the Black Thorn, D99, Bak Eu, D15 and Ganjau will be available while the Red Prawn will only make its appearance from July 10 onwards,” he said here yesterday.

Although Chang is struggling with the dry weather and experiencing a drop of about 40% in harvest, he said his durian trees were coping well – thanks to the organic farming methods he had adopted about 20 years ago.

“By practising organic farming, my durian trees live and last longer, and are not badly affected by any changes in the weather.

Quality harvest: Chang and his son Zi Vooi admiring the fruits of his orchard in Balik Pulau.
Quality harvest: Chang and his son Zi Vooi admiring the fruits of his orchard in Balik Pulau,

“They are also not attacked by diseases so easily. The worms and bugs in the organic soil also help keep it moist.

“The grass, which is free of pesticides, can add moisture to the soil.

“If it is too hot, the flowers will dry up but if there is too much water, the flowers will keep growing. However, they will eventually drop on their own as it is too wet,” Chang added.

He noted that it would be ideal for the trees if it rained for half an hour each week.

“If it rains too many times or doesn’t rain at all in a week, it’s bad.

“If the rain is heavy, 10 minutes will be enough,” he said.

He added that even though the quantity of the harvest might be down due to the dry weather, the quality would be good.

“This year, the durians will taste better. The trees are not producing new leaves, so all the nutrients will go to the fruits,” Chang said.

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