PPIM: Authorities should educate durian middlemen

PPIM: Authorities should educate durian middlemen

MELAKA: The onset of every durian season for the past few years have been met with a furor over high prices of the King of Fruits.

Complaints were heard nationwide over durians being priced according to weight, making it unbearably expensive, especially for those from the lower income group.

A survey by Bernama found that most consumers and durian farmers blame the middlemen or wholesalers who buy durians at a low price and re-sell them on very high margins.

Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) President Datuk Nadzim Johan said the problem would continue if no action were taken by the authorities although durian was not a controlled item and its price was fixed based on the market supply and demand.

“To me, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry should have intervention such as conducting business ethics course for durian wholesalers,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Nadzim said those involved in the durian trade should be aware that although business is all about making a profit, the price should not be burdensome for the man on the street.

“For now, consumers could try to mitigate this issue by going straight to durian farms and buying fresh durians straight from the producer,” he said.

Meanwhile, a consumer from Bukit Baru, Melaka, who wants to be known only as Rizal, 42, said that it was unfair for traders to sell durians based on its weight as the bulk of the weight would come from the husk.

“A medium-sized durian could weigh about 2kg and the price of a local “kampung” durian is around RM6 to RM8 per kg, so consumers would end up having to pay between RM12 and RM16 for one single durian, and this is quite expensive for this variety,” he said.

A durian seller, Hassan, 40, meanwhile said that the current price was reasonable as consumers can choose from various grades and sizes.

“Based on my experience, a grade B cleaned durian is sold to wholesalers at RM1.20 to RM1.50 per kg and it is then sold to resellers at RM3.20 to RM3.50 per kg to cover transportation and other costs.

“By the time it is sold to consumers, it is fair that the price would reach between RM6.40 and RM7 per kg after factoring in risks of spoiled fruits and transportation costs,” he said.

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