KUANTAN, Sept 19 — The coming of the durian season every year at Kampung Jeram, Beserah here is always eagerly awaited by residents and outsiders who want to take a bite of the king of fruits from the village.
However, Ahmad Rizal Jaafar, 37, says the excitement has been dampened as a result of development and bauxite mining which has led to a decrease in the yield.
He said reckless bauxite mining had previously damaged roads leading to the orchards, and polluted the rivers.
“Who would want to go to the orchards if the roads are full of potholes and difficult for normal vehicles to pass? The river water is also no longer clear.
“We are not opposed to development or any activity that can generate income in this village...however, it should be done without affecting the environment,” he reasoned.
Ahmad Rizal said uncertain weather conditions had also caused durian trees to yield less fruits, thus affecting sales.
“If I recall, a durian tree here could produce between 200 and 300 fruits, but now it’s only about 100 fruits and it’s sold for RM35 per kg.
“Five years ago, outsiders, even those from Singapore were willing to contact us to order durians, but it’s not possible as the stock is not sufficient...it’s just enough for self-consumption” he added.
Meanwhile, Wan Udani Wan Ahmad, 43, feared that the durian species grown there would become extinct if things did not improve.
“The uniqueness of the Beserah durian is that it is not a clone, and is not suitable for planting in other locations. If observed carefully, the durian fruit here is not so yellow, but has a delicious taste that is unparalleled,” he said.
Another resident, Ahmad Fazrol Abdul Aziz, 35, said something needed to be done to revive the tradition and practice of welcoming the durian season. — Bernama