JOHOR BAHARU, March 22 (Bernama) — The MD2 pineapple variety planted in Malaysia by a subsidiary of Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd has received encouraging response in overseas markets.
The fruit has successfully penetrated the markets of the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.
The fruit’s latest “conquest” is the Japanese market, having made its debut there last month-end, apart from receiving requests from Oman, Australia and Russia.
Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said to meet the high overseas demand, the area under cultivation of the MD2 pineapples will be increased by 2,250 hectares by year-end.
“The MD2 pineapple planted in Malaysia is sweeter compared to those in other countries and this is the reason for its high demand.
“At present the ratio of fresh pineapples exported and canned is 60:40.By 2020, Malaysia will ensure it is 80:20,” he added.
Ismail Sabri told reporters this after visiting the MD2 Pineapple Packaging Centre owned by Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd at Ulu Tiram near here.
The Minister was at the end of a two-day working visit to Johor.
Kulim, through its subsidiary, JTP Trading Sdn Bhd markets agricultural produce, namely fruits in Malaysia and overseas, and has a 300 hectare (741 acre) pineapple plantation at Ulu Tiram, Johor Baharu and in Kluang.
Last year, Kulim produced 1,100 metric tonnes of pineapples under the Melita brand with 47 per cent being exported and the rest sold in the local market.
Ismail Sabri said to increase the number of pineapple plantations and the area under cultivation, a cooperation programme with JTP Trading Sdn Bhd will be planned.