RAUB: A durian wholesaler has come forward to clarify that she paid RM168 per kilogram for grade A Musang King.
Hong Shi Yi, 35, told Sin Chew Daily that she bought the durians from her husband’s family with the intention of looking after smallholders’ interest.
“While there is a guided price for Musang King, I have bought grade A Musang King with a higher price to encourage and motivate smallholders.
“Apart from paying this price for Musang King from my husband’s family, I could be offering similar price for other smallholders I know,” she said.
Hong could be incurring losses from grade A Musang King, but she is able to make back from grade B and C Musang King.
“I am happy with the slim profit made,” she said.
As the durian season is coming to an end with decreasing volume, Hong said the wholesale price for grade A Musang King dropped to RM80 per kg.
She was running at a loss recently by buying more expensive Musang King but she was making good profit earlier.
“No one understands the plight of smallholders. They spend a minimum of RM8,000 a month on pesticides, fertilisers, wages and other expenses for a four-acre durian orchard. This does not include the smallholder’s salary.
“For a new orchard, the owner may have to wait for five years for the first harvest. The cost incurred is even higher,” she added.
Hong responded to an earlier report by Sin Chew Daily quoting other wholesalers that the price of RM168 per kg for Musang King was fake news posted on Facebook to attract clickthroughs.