Sarawak to focus on durian, coconut, pineapple, banana crops due to rising global demand

A screengrab of Dr Rundi delivering his winding-up speech during the DUN sitting today (May 25, 2022) taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream on Facebook.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 25: Global trade for durian in 2020 reached USD3 billion while the global market size for coconut registered at USD12.6 billion in the same year.

Apart from durian and coconut, pineapple and banana are also catching global attention with pineapple demand on the increase in China, Europe and North America with China alone importing USD172 million worth of the fruit.

Global banana trade has also expanded to unprecedented heights in recent years, with an estimated export volume of 22.2 million tonnes in 2020.

Citing the figures, Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the ministry had identified them as the four key crops with export potential.

Comprehensive new strategies and initiatives would be developed to establish the cultivation of these crops as the main sources of new wealth in Sarawak and to generate higher farmer income, added Dr Rundi who is also the Kemena assemblyman (GPS-PBB).

He said various production and investment incentives will be formulated to encourage greater private sector participation and investment in these promoted food crops, away from commodity crops such as oil palm.

“My ministry has set a target of increasing planted areas of coconut to 30,000 hectares, and 20,000 hectares each for durian, pineapple and banana by 2030.

“In our effort to accelerate the growth of these industries, my ministry is actively promoting the contract-farming model to allow greater participation of the private sector as anchor companies and smallholders as out growers,” said Dr Rundi while delivering his winding-up speech during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today. — DayakDaily