Nothing gets your attention more than a whiff of the King of Fruits, whose pungent aroma can offend even an adult. Durian is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia and is mainly grown in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The hard, outer shell is covered in thorns, whose shape and size differs depending on the type. When ripe, the custard-like flesh inside can be sweet and creamy. However, the durian’s distinctive smell has made the fruit a polarising delicacy.
Thailand and Malaysia are the top global producers and exporters of durian, with an annual production of 600,000 and 300,000 metric tonnes, respectively. On the receiving end, China, Hong Kong and Singapore are the main export destination markets for durian.
The Durian market is in the unique position of not only being in high demand but also of being insufficiently supplied. Global trade in Durian is expected to conservatively reach 2 billion kg by 2030, without taking a significant increase in Chinese consumption per capita into account and which is likely.
Global trade is expected to reach 4.5 million kg by 2030 if Chinese imports grow as they have over the period 2006 and 2016.
In 2019, we collected our first harvest at our Durian pilot project of 20 hectares in the Province of Kampong Thom. Our first 5-year-old plot of durian plantation (100 trees) yielded around 15 fruits per tree for a total of 1500 fruits at an average weight of 2.5kg per fruit for a total harvest of 3,750kg. The harvest was sold at $4 USD per kg for a total of $15,000 USD.
In 2020, we expect 5 hectares to be harvested for a total estimated income of $90,000 USD ($18,000 USD per hectare). In 2021, we expect 10 hectares to be harvested for a total estimated income of more than $250,000 USD ($25,000 USD). In 2022, we expect 20 hectares of harvest for a total estimated income of more than $700,000 USD ($35,000 USD). Once the Durian tree reaches full maturity on year 8, its performance is expected to remain the same until the end of the 30 years agreement with the investor.
In Mondulkiri we project to achieve at least 30% better results than our pilot project due to a higher quality of soil, a more suitable climate for durian and lessons learned from our 5 years of experience of growing durian.