Sabah farmers urged to explore pomelo cultivation potential – Arthur

KOTA KINABALU, May 9 (Bernama) — Sabah recorded the production of 134,000 kilogrammes (kg) of pomelos worth RM527,000 as of May 7 this year, said Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup.

He said this indirectly reflects the potential in pomelo cultivation that can be explored by farmers in Sabah.

“In 2023, the pomelo industry in Sabah recorded a yield of 268,000 kg worth RM966,000. Sabah is one of the main pomelo producers in Malaysia besides Perak.

“Therefore, to strengthen Sabah’s position in the production and export of pomelo, standards among farmers and local pomelo producers should be established in line with the SMART concept which is the direction of the ministry this year,” he said in a statement here today.

He said this after officiating the Good Marketing Practices, Standards and Quality of Pomelo course, organised by the state Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) in Tenom, today.

The course was organised in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Sabah; the Pest Control and Fertiliser Division of the Department of Agriculture and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) Sabah branch.

Arthur also emphasised that the goal of reducing the rate of post-harvest damage from 30 to 50 per cent to less than 30 per cent along the supply chain will be achieved through the teaching of best practices in marketing.

“This further helps reduce the loss of agricultural products and makes the agricultural industry more effective and efficient,” he explained.

At the event, Arthur witnessed the signing of the ‘Forward Agreement’ between the state FAMA and 22 pomelo growers in Tenom.

Through the agreement, the state FAMA aims to obtain a supply of 10 metric tonnes of pomelo per week and a total of 480 metric tonnes per year with an initial price increase of RM3.80 per kg compared with the current price of RM3.60 per kg, he said.

Arthur believes that the pomelo growers in Tenom will be able to achieve the target set with the guidance of his ministry’s agencies in Sabah and the solid support of the state Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry.

The effort is also able to make the pomelo cultivation industry a catalyst to improve the socioeconomics of the community in Tenom, he said.