Hot weather brings good tidings for durian farmers

Hot weather brings good tidings for durian farmers

GEORGETOWN - It has been a hot and dry season since late last year, but a delicious upside to the parched weather may be coming soon.

Durian trees in Balik Pulau are flowering in all their glory, and orchard owners are expecting a bumper crop this season.

"The blooming season is fantastic this year and it's all because there's been a little rain since November," said durian farmer Chang Teik Seng, 54.

When rain is scarce, Chang said, pests and damaging fungus will not have enough moisture to thrive and spoil the flowers.

"We also need bees to pollinate the flowers and with a long dry spell, every flower could potentially become a fruit."

Chang's Bao Sheng Durian Farm has been producing the king of fruits since 1959 and he estimated that by late May, his farm would be serving a wallop.

"The next critical stage is the fruiting season. I am already seeing a lot of egg-sized durians dangling on the tree branches, and I hope the dry weather will hold out until May."

Chang expected his fruits to be tastier too and with less precipitation, the durian pulp tends to be denser, sweeter and less soggy.

Even hobbyist farmers are amazed by the flowering season.

Surgeon Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan has a 1.6-acre farm in Balik Pulau and since early March, he has been taken aback by the profusion of blossoms on his trees.

"I normally don't pay attention to the flowers when I visit the farm but the flowers on my durian, starfruit, rambutan, jambu air and soursop trees have made it look so colourful."

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