Forests are not cleared to make way for durian, says orchard owners of Malaysia

RAUB, Malaysia (Sin Chew Daily/ANN) - Small durian orchard owners in Raub do not clear forests for durian plantation. They are mainly owners of small durian orchard inherited from their parents or ancestors. 

Durian orchard owners here do not clear forest to plant durians.

Small durian orchard owners may look forward to have more land for durian plantation as durians are getting more popular in China but they do not resort to clear forests for durian trees. 

The small durian orchard owners deny a report by foreign media that durian plantation companies are clearing forests by fire to plant top grade Musang King durian. The report also stated that many family-run durian orchards are engaging in large scale plantation of durian which caused deforestation. 

The durian orchard owners said for the past 30 to 40 years, farmers in Raub planted on their own land. Many switched to planting durian only after its price continued to soar.

Ning Jia Rong, a durian farmer in Sungai Klau in Raub said he has not heard of deforestation for durian plantation.

“I have not heard this in Raub. Many big companies do not take any action at the moment, we are watching them,’’ he said.

Pahang Durian Association chairman Lai Wei Quan said durian orchards in Raub are mainly family-run without having to clear forests.

The durian orchards were mainly planted by their parents or ancestors. The orchard owners do not have additional land to expand their orchard. The law also does not allow farmers to clear land for durian. 

“I have not heard of small estate holders planting durian by clearing forests. The case of clearing forests to plant durians does not take place in Pahang. I am not sure of other states,’’ said Lai.

Sungai Dua durian farmer Lu Yu Ting said the Musang King durian in Raub caught the attention of conglomerates. Many started to apply land from the state government to plant durian where cases of conglomerates and small estate holders fighting over land continued to happen. 

In recent years, he said the government encouraged small estate holders to plant durian in a large scale without extending proper support. 

“If the government has plans to legalise existing agricultural land and provide the younger generation with a chance to plant durian, this will increase job opportunities for them. By implementing strict control on development, deforestation can be reduced,’’ he said.


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