SEPANG, Malaysia, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia eyes expanding export of agricultural products with the newly-launched chartered flights carrying pineapples.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the air-chartered service to transport the fruit to Zhengzhou of central China's Henan province on Tuesday, Malaysian Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Sim Tze Tzin said exporting pineapples to China would boost the Malaysia's domestic agricultural sector, benefiting local farmers and entrepreneurs.
Sim said at least 2,000 tons of the fruit would be sent to China per year through three cargo-chartered flights per week, earning some 12 million ringgit (2.87 million U.S. dollars) for Malaysia with an expected 5-percent growth per year.
He urged industry players to increase their production to target a larger share of the Chinese market.
The shipment via SF Express cargo airlines was chartered by GlobalWind Supply Chain Management (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. with Linghang International as the Malaysian agent for the chartered freighter, with the support of Malaysia Airports Holdings and Pos Aviation.
The pineapple-chartered freighter has flown three earlier cargo shipments to Zhengzhou since Nov. 14. As of Tuesday, a total of 88 tons of pineapples have been shipped and distributed throughout China. The chartered flight is scheduled for one year with an estimated 120 total flights exporting at least 2,000 tons of pineapples, according to a statement released by Malaysia Airports Holdings.
Malaysia's special envoy to China Tan Kok Wai said the export of pineapple complemented other efforts by Malaysia to export its agricultural products to China, including the well-known Musang King durian.
He added that Malaysia had worked hard to develop the necessary agricultural, processing and transport infrastructure to ship the fruits within hours, delivering fresh produce to Chinese consumers, and boosting the Malaysian agricultural sector.
"Durians shipped in the morning will arrive at their destination in China on the same afternoon. Durian was our flagship product at one time, but Malaysia has much more to offer and following the pineapples, it is hoped that even more agricultural products can be introduced to the Chinese market," he said.
In June, China allowed whole durian fruits from Malaysia for import. Before that, only pulp, paste and processed durian products could be sent to China. The new move further boosted the confidence of durian plantation in Malaysia, which has seen the total durian production rise to 341,000 tons in 2018 from 211,000 tons in 2017.
Besides durian, the Malaysian government is also expecting to boost exports to China other goods, including palm oil, petrochemical products, manufactured goods and agricultural products.