Durian, or often known as King of Fruit is native to Southeast Asia countries. It is famous for its strong taste and thick flesh, especially in Asia country where durian is seen as the local delicacy and has gained high popularity.
As Malaysian, we are often proud of durian industry in our country, Indeed, the durian industry in Asia has successfully boost economy through exports to many other countries, while Malaysia is one of the biggest country that being granted permission to export durian to China.
Diving deeper into the durian industry, durian crop development takes a long period of time. The supply for durian from farming to production has taken years to develop, and in between there are variety of management activities that need to be taken care to ensure that durian orchards are well maintain.
After production, the supply chain of durian has to undergo various stages such as packaging and logistic before reaching customers' hand.
(Reference: 27 Group)
Issues concerning Durian Industry
There are, of course, certain problems encounter by the durian industry, which mainly on the decreasing supply due to uncontrollable circumstances such as the weather or diseases of crop plantation.
In the past, cloning techniques has been widely used in order to supply large demand of durian in the market. However, the technique might as well has low survival rate issue. According to 27 Group, although the Department of Agriculture has registered many durian clones since 1934, but only D24 was cultivated on large scales. In fact, the D24 clones are not adaptive to heavy rainfall or drought areas and hence experienced uneven fruit ripening while being grown in east coast. Moreover, poor post- planting and maintenance efforts also result in durian clones hardly survive to maturity stage.
Another issue encounters by the durian industry is the diseases. Stem canker disease has resulted death of many durian tress. Without proper treatment, the disease is highly spreadable, leading the whole orchard to be infected with the disease. In addition, pest on durian orchard like squirrels are hardly controllable and hence resulting to fruit damage issue.
While demand for the fruit has also strike the price of durian, technology advancement in durian industry is crucial for sustainable supply in the future.
Eric Chan from Dulai Fruits also quoted
It requires consolidated efforts from all parties to have opportunities for the market to grow. For the durian industry, it comes a long way from creating a viable market to able to afford the adoption of blockchain and tech in the whole supply chain. We still have a long way to go but a promising one as growing efficiency and productivity definitely the right way to open more market for durian industry
Contribution of Technology towards Durian Industry
Blockchain application is the technology implemented on the supply chain of durians, making it traceable and transparent at each stage of the chain.
Through blockchain, durian as the asset is tokenized into traceable digital assets. Basically, it enable each durian to be uniquely tagged, photographed and tracked from its initial sages of production to manufacture right till the customers’ hand. This ensures that every single durian retains its quality from farm to table.Moreover, data is encrypted, immutable and loaded on blockchain ledger. The entire processes are tracked and monitor to ensure every party involved follow the entire durian supply process.
A case study where a Singapore start-up as the first in the world to transform fresh Thai durians into traceable digital assets. In 2019, DiMuto, a supply chain technology company in Singapore has partner with Thailand’s biggest fresh durian exporter, Queen Frozen Fruit to turn durian into asset, tagged and tracked them on their journey all the way from Thailand to China, Japan and other parts of Asia. This has successfully provide a leap of growth for durian industry through utilization of technology.
As blockchain technology deals with decentralized finance, it believe to benefits durian industry in terms of funding, credit assessment and trade financing. Traditionally, secure funding has its weakness as the bank or the third party involved do not see what happen on the farm for fresh fruit industry. This is not fair to the industry whereby the funding received will not be enough to cover the expenses on whole supply chain of durian.
In short, blockchain application is believe to be a good and efficient approach towards production of durian in future.
Cryogenic freezing is seen as a relatively new deep freezing method whereby the fruit will be exposed to atmosphere below -60 Degree Celsius with liquefied gas for preservation.
Research has shown that by using deep freeze technique and collagen, durian can last up to years. This method is able to preserve the original taste, small, flesh color and texture of durian. Longer shelf life of durian will contribute to continuous supply, and thus aid in tackling sudden surge demands in the market.
Since plantation of durian is seasonal and has always been affected by the weather, cryogenic freezing application is able to maintain the production of volume, ensure that the supply is enough for the demand and thus control the price of durian.
The technology enhancement in durian industry are becoming more efficient than before. With the utilization of technology, durian industry are believe to be more efficient and productive, especially for new and young durian planters. In the near future, durian lovers around the world can look forward to enjoy cheaper and quality durian!