Friday, 8 June 2012

Durian 2012: poor season expected

The durian is in season now; it started perhaps about a week ago. But be forewarned: the fruit farmers in Balik Pulau have been hit hard this year because of the rainy weather. According to Durian Seng of the Bao Sheng Durian Farm and Homestay in Sungai Pinang, about 13 kilometres from Balik Pulau town, the rain had caused a lot of damage to the flowers. As such, the harvest this year has been greatly affected.

How has this reduced your durian harvest, I asked him earlier this week at Bao Sheng. "I lost about 80 percent of the flowers," he told me. "This is considered okay already lah," he continued, "because other farmers have reported losses of flowers of around 90 percent."

"See this tree?" he asked. "There are just four or five fruits. Last year, the branches were filled with fruits."

Salvaging these fruits for the market is a big challenge, he admitted. According to him, the poor harvest is forcing wild animals like squirrels to come into his orchard in search of food. They are competing with us humans for the durian.

So while the season has begun, durian afficionados are well advised to begin their feasting early. Wait too long and for sure, there may not be enough durian around to satisfy everyone's craving. Worse, I foresee that the durian prices can only go north as the weeks progress.

For more information on Bao Sheng, their website is here. But just a note: do not drop by the durian farm without making an appointment or otherwise, you may be disappointed. Moreover, the prices for the durian packages are only indicative. It's best to contact Durian Seng directly and book your visit.

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