KUCHING – For the past nine years, life of residents living in three longhouses, namely Rumah Helary Nyelam, Rumah Nimong Empelanjau and Rumah Sepitson in Sri Aman, about 200 kilometres from Kuching, has been getting busier and busier.
Assisted by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) the rambutan of ‘Anak Sekolah’ variety or the R191 variety planted by them has begun to bear fruits since 2008 and now was in demand in the export and domestic markets.
FAMA, established to supervise, coordinate, regulate and promote the marketing of agricultural produce, including importing and exporting, continued to eye marketing opportunities to market the produce of these three longhouse occupants especially overseas.
Speaking to Bernama recently, Fama Sarawak deputy director (Operations) Abdul Jaafar Lian, said the result of sheer hard work had succeeded in exporting this variety of rambutans to China, Dubai and Europe.
The Anak Sekolah variety rambutan is a fairly round fruit with reddish skin, solid flesh, moderately sweet and not very juicy. It is suitable for the overseas market as well as being popular locally..
“The Anak Sekolah variety rambutan from Sri Aman began to penetrate the international market in 2015. FAMA exported 800 kilogrammes to Dubai and 900kg to the Netherlands during the same year, while 700kg were exported to China in 2016,” he said.
Abdul Jaafar said the Anak Sekolah variety rambutan was also popular in Europe and was normally in great demand before Christmas.
“However last year (2017) the rambutan season took place after Christmas so we expect to start exporting the rambutans this month (January 2018),” he said.
According to him, the Anak Sekolah variety rambutan season in the state only started about a week ago and was expected to end in late January.
“Besides the international market, FAMA also markets this variety of rambutans to several other locations in the country. FAMA sends three tonnes to the Peninsular three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“These rambutans from Sri Aman are also sent to Miri, Bintulu and Sabah,” he said, adding that FAMA Sarawak had bought 250,587kg of the Anak Sekolah variety rambutan from Sri Aman within the period 2008-2016 to be marketed.
Commenting on the orchards of the three longhouses, Abdul Jaafar said the area was a regular production site for this variety of rambutans in the state comprising an area of 48 hectares..
” Rumah Nimong and Rumah Sepitson also have the Malaysian Good Agricultural Practices (MyGAP) certification to ensure that the products manufactured are able to penetrate the international market.
“While Rumah Helary was expected to acquire the myGAP certification this year (2018),” he said. – BERNAMA