Smaller durian harvest this year due to prolonged heatwave

PENANG - Durian enthusiasts who cannot wait to taste the King of Fruits will be disappointed this year as the supply is expected to drop by about 40 per cent due to the hot weather.

Bao Sheng Durian Farm owner Chang Zhi Vooi said the prolonged heatwave has affected the durian trees badly.

"Due to the hot weather, the trees are not getting enough water and we have to water it manually everyday.

"We prepared seven water pipes to shower the trees every four hours," he said when contacted yesterday.

Chang, a third-generation farmer, said many fruits had fallen to the ground even before they were fully ripen.

However, he pointed out that the durian season this year could be longer as new flowers were still blooming.

"This year, we can expect durians from May until the end of July.

"However, it will be a smaller harvest compare to last year. A tree can produce more than 200 fruits, but this year, we may get only about 100 plus," he said.

Green Acre Sustainable Farm owner Eric Chong said thesupply in his orchard would be affected by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

"One of my Little Red durian trees is also dying as the fruits are absorbing the nutrients from the tree, thus leaving it without the necessary minerals to survive," he said.

Chong is hoping for rain to come soon to ensure a smooth process during the fruitingseason.

Meanwhile, Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa has reminded Penangites to continue toconserve water and use itwisely.

"The capacity at the Air Itam Dam stands at 61 per cent, which can last for 60 days," he said.