SPAOH, Dec 28: The Collecting, Processing and Packaging Centre (CPPC) at Simpang Layar, Betong, which is expected to be operational in May next year, will be the second buyer for surplus fruits in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas pointed out that in the past, local farmers have no way to sell their surplus fruits, but now they have several options to go to.
“Apart from local farmer’s organisation as the buyer, we are also setting up a CPPC at Simpang Layar as the next buyer.
“This centre, the second in the state, is expected to be operational in May next year,” he said at the meet-the-people session at Rh Bangkit Rembai Baru near here today.
He and Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat were the guests-of-honour at the 20-door modern longhouse 20th anniversary celebration.
Uggah, who is also the Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development, thus urged farmers to look after their durian trees, nurture them with recommended fertilisers at intervals and clearing any undergrowth to ensure they would bear large quantity of fruits during each fruiting season.
“The tradition of letting durian trees grow and to bear fruits without any maintenance at all should be a thing of the past.
“The state is now exporting durian paste to China where the demands were far beyond its capacity to supply. This year, we are exporting 200 tonnes from the 100 tonnes last year and China wants even more,” he shared.
As such, he said more durian tree rehabilitation and maintenance courses would be organised for local farmers next year.
He also advised farmers who had received free Munsang King durian saplings to take good care of them.
“The Agriculture Department will replace those that had died but the farmers concerned must contact their nearest agriculture office,” he added.