KUCHING: Avid fans of crystal fruit or buah kristal in Malaya are in for a treat as some 3.2 tonnes of the seasonal fruits was exported by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) to selected Fama-controlled fresh markets (PST).
Fama Sarawak director Abdul Jaafar Lian said the shipment today (June 15) was part of about eight tonnes of the fruit to be exported to meet high demand from consumers.
“Previously we exported the fruit but the quantity was not much because production was low. However, the fruit has been plentiful this year. We have a demand of about eight tonnes to be flown in stages,” he told reporters today.
Abdul Jaafar said the fruit was gathered from participants in the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (Mafi) Contract Farming Programme, mainly in Lundu and Sematan, to be processed, exported and sold in other states.
He assured that the fruit was purchased at a reasonable price to support local smallholders during the pandemic.
“If we look at the retail price, it is quite cheap. However, Fama is purchasing these fruits at a good price for farmers during the movement control order (MCO) period,” he said.
He pointed out that the market price for crystal fruit near production areas such as Lundu is currently at around RM6 per kg.
“Some sell online for RM10 to RM12 depending on the grade and index of the fruit. There are also two types — red and green. The green ones are more premium so prices vary according to the quality,” he said.
He also noted that the fruit will be sold for about RM18 per kg.
The hike in price is due to logistics and processing costs in order to ensure that only the highest quality ones are sold, he explained.
“Crystal fruits are purchased from farmers to be collected and processed in accordance with Fama’s Grading, Packaging and Labeling (GPL) rules where each box has a sticker on it to inform the consumer on the source of the fruit,” added Abdul Jaafar.
Apart from exporting crystal fruit to West Malaysia, he revealed that the fruit will also be distributed to other parts of the state, namely in Sibu, Bintulu and Miri among others.
“Fama is also exporting other types of fruit according to what’s in season. Some of these fruits include Pisang Tanduk, Rambutans and others,” he said.
Locals can get this Crystal fruit at the Fama Controlled Fresh Market (PST) selected by Peninsular Malaysia.