The high value of durian fruit, coupled with a huge demand in the local market, has lead to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MFF) to encourage farmers of the Cambodian-grown fruit to form an agricultural cooperative.
The ministry’s working teams have inspected the farms and educated farmers about the benefits of forming the cooperative. These include keeping the market secure, avoiding fake products and raising the produce’s profile in the market, said Chan Rithy, director of the provincial agricultural department of Kampot.
Kampot is the biggest provincial producer of durian.
“We have encouraged farmers to establish an agricultural cooperative among durian producers, so that they can use a logo from the cooperative and sell it into the market. This can help avoid fake products, which are mostly imported,” Rithy added.
Currently, Kampot province has 1,231 hectares of durian plantations, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, with each hectare capable of producing 9 tonnes of the fruit per season.
The price of durian this year is betweem 28,000 Riel ($7) to 30,000 Riel ($7.5) per kilo, up from 22,000 Riel from last year, according to Rithy. The long-lasting hot weather has caused a lower yield of the fruit than last year.
The durian season is short, running from June to July, which also pushes up the price of the fruit. People will spend to get the best, and Kampot durians are renowned for being just that.