RAUB: Thai merchants have stopped buying Musang King durians from farmers here.
The abrupt stop was due to an order from the Thai government on June 1 banning Thai merchants from buying durians in Malaysia.
Thai merchants offer better prices than local merchants to buy durians from farmers by plucking the fruits from he trees instead of waiting for mature durians to drop on their own.
It is learned that the Thai government has stopped its citizens from plucking durians in Malaysia to protect the interest of Thai farmers.
Lye Wee Tin, a director of PHG Ever Fresh Food (M) Sdn Bhd offering durian export services, said Thai merchants buy the durians from Malaysia and then export them to China.
He said Thai merchants started to offer local farmers in Gerik, Raub, Jelebu and other places in Johor the service of plucking durians and the merchants would buy from them.
Lye said such practice started two years ago in places near the Thai border, such as Pengkalan Hulu and Gerik in Perak.
As the wholesale price of Musang King fell from RM30 to RM25 per kilogram, the offer price by Thai merchants at RM35 per kilogram was attractive to farmers.
“Few hundred durian orchard owners in Raub are inviting them to pluck the durians including myself. But the service has stopped before my turn,” he said.
Frozen durians have been exported to China from Malaysia since 2013.
Currently, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines export fresh and frozen durians to China.
Lye said the Malaysian government should negotiate with China to allow local farmers to export fresh durians to China as soon as possible.