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Pomelo grower predicts varietal shortage for CNY

January 14, 2018 5:02 AM
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People selecting pomelos at Go Chin Pomelo Nature Park in Tambun January 11, 2018. — Picture by Marcus PheongIPOH, Jan 14 — Pomelo lovers who prefer the sweet-and-sour profile are advised to act fast as the variety only forms 10 per cent of current supply heading into the peak Chinese New Year period next month.

Go Chin Pomelo Nature Park owner Chin Too Kam said most pomelo farmers planted trees producing the sweet variant as it takes an extra month for those of the sweet-sour variety to fruit.

“Coupled with the rainy weather of late, most pomelo flowers did not survive beyond the flowering stage,” he said.

Speaking to Malay Mail when met at his farm in Tambun this week, Chin added that health-conscious consumers preferred the sweet-and-sour variant due to its lower sugar content.

Chin said due to its scarcity, he would not accept bookings from consumers for the sweet-and-sour variant.

“Now is the time to buy pomelo as the fruit can be kept for up to one month, in time for Chinese New Year,” he said, adding that the market price for per fruit, depending on its size, was between RM18 and RM35.

“I do not want to end up disappointing my customers. If any of them want the sweet-and-sour fruit, I advised them to come to my farm to get it,” he said.

Law Siew Leng arranges pomelos at her fruit stall in Ipoh January 11, 2018. — Picture by Marcus PheongPomelo was also gaining popularity as gifts during festive seasons for more than just the Chinese community, he added.

“I have Malay customers from Kelantan who would buy the fruit to give it to their Chinese friends during Chinese New Year,” he added.

Separately, pomelo seller Law Siew Leng said the crowd coming in to purchase pomelo had not peaked yet.

“To be fair, school just reopened. Parents had to spend a lot on their children. Maybe end of this month or beginning of next month, more will come to buy pomelo for Chinese New Year,” she said.

However, she said she has received bookings from her regular outstation customers for pomelo.

“They said they will come to pick up their bookings a week before Chinese New Year,” she said when met at her shop at Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri here.

Still, she does not have high hopes of bumper business this Chinese New Year.

“The crowd coming in have been getting smaller in the past few years except for weekends and school holidays,” she said.

The Chinese community will celebrate the lunar new year on February 16.


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