PEKAN: Incentives and subsidies are in place to stabilise the price of durian in the Malaysian market.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said high demand outstripping supply caused price for the "King of Fruits" to register a slight increase compared to last year.
"We at the ministry cannot set a ceiling price for the fruit. It is indeed slightly pricier in the local market compared to last year due to lack of supply.
"Most fruits end up being sold in countries like China and Singapore. For example, the price of Musang King durian reach RM140 per kilogramme, and this has greatly helped (fruit) farmers to reap lucrative earnings.
"What we can do is control (stabilize) prices for the local market by giving subsidies and incentives to orchard owners to plant more durian fruit trees. When there is large supply, the price will surely stabilize," he said.
Tajuddin was speaking after he opened Program Gelombang Tani Nasional 2017 at a public hall at Kampung Pahang Tua here today.
Also present were Peramu Jaya assemblyman Datuk Seri Sh Mohamed Fuzi Sh Ali and District Officer Datuk Ali Syahbana Sabaruddin, among others.
Meanwhile, Tajuddin urged farmers, fishermen and (farm animal) rearers to be more proactive in taking the opportunity to generate higher income through the various assistance provided by the government.
He said they should not just be satisfied with their current earnings and instead get involved in various related industries with the potential to increase income.
"For example, if we are fishermen, there are many other things we can do such as making keropok, ikan salai, and ikan kering. If we have a durian orchard, not only to sell durian but also durian cake, durian ice cream and many more.
"In order to do all of this, there is a need for knowledge and we(government) have provided various courses for farmers, fishermen and rearers to join. If one lacks capital, they can apply for loans from officers from the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund(Tekun) or Agrobank," he said.