Pandemic fails to dampen love for durians

Mustafar (left) and Mustika explaining the different varieties of durians they sell.

KUCHING: Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for durians is still strong.

Mustafar Ibrahim, 70, who sells the king of fruits by the roadside at Semerah Padi, said, “It is a blessing for me that    many people still buy durians during the pandemic.

“I start selling my durians around 6.30am and call it a day around 4.30pm.

“To me, it is still a good year for durians. To ensure that my customers receive the best quality fruits, we collect the durians from the farm in the morning and sell them here at affordable prices.     

“I am grateful that the government allows the sales of durians by the roadside. It helps us earn some money during these difficult times.”

Mustafar added that the price of each durian depended on its size and variety.

“There are ‘durian susu’, ‘durian kampung’, ‘durian kuning’ and many more. Each has its own taste — sweet or bitter.” 

Mustika, 39, daughter of Mustafar, said the most popular durian was the ‘durian susu’.

“It is very sweet and each durian costs RM40 to RM60   depending on its size.

“Meanwhile, ‘durian kampung’ tastes a little sour and costs around RM30 to RM55 each, depending on its size.

“Most of our durians are from Sematan on the lowlands. Anyone in Sarawak who wants to order in a large quantity can contact me at 011-11982159,” she said.

Mohd Nasir, 44, said all of his durians came fresh from Serian.

He sells them by the roadside near Sekolah Kebangsaan Semerah Padi every day from 6am.

“I sell them at very affordable prices, especially if the customers buy a lot. If a customer buys 25 durians, then I sell each around RM15 to RM20.

“One of my team members also sells the durians in Serian. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, most of my customers came from different districts but now, most of them come from Kuching only.”

“But, Alhamdulillah, even during this pandemic, my durians are sold out by 5pm.

“I am very grateful that the government allows hawkers to sell on the roadside. For now, this is my main source of income during this pandemic.”

Nasir also added that anyone who wanted to order durians could contact him at 01129095707.