ssociation chairman Othman Ismail said it was not Kedah’s intention to compete with Perlis, but to complement the latter’s efforts in meeting the ever growing demand. He, who has 100 harumanis trees of which 60 saw the first harvest this year manage to collect one tonne or about 3,000 harumanis mangoes this season in 2019 and expected increase in 2020. There is no difference between the harumanis grown in Perlis and those harvested in Kedah. They are one and the same and smell sweet and taste just as sweet. The limestone and sandy soil in Perlis is also available here in Kedah. The only marked difference is the humid temperature in the states. Kedah is about 1° or 2°C lower. So it is not true that harumanis can only be grown in Perlis. they have proved that it can be grown just as successfully here in Kedah. The harumanis “craze” started in Kedah among old-time padi farmers who wanted to “try their luck” after seeing how their counterparts in Perlis did it with the mango variant. They went on to create a name for themselves even on the international stage. Since this year that harumanis has become a flourishing business but it is still not sufficient to meet local market demand. Farmers expressing an interest to grow harumanis and they association wish to help them by imparting the right knowledge. The challenge is not so much about growing the tree, but how to do it right to get premium quality mangoes in which are much sought-after. As reported by a farmers known as Aszil Saad at 1.4 ha farm in Malau where hw proudly showed off his 250 harumanis trees and the majority of which had borne fruits for the first time this season. He said the first harvest was usually low and as the tree matured, the fruit would grow in abundance. This season he collected one tonne of mangoes in which is considerably good. The fruits in which have orange flesh are of decent size. He have asked his friends including those in the Klang Valley to sample the fruits and so far he have not received any negative feedback. Next year in 2020 and 2021 when the yield is better and those who had tasted the fruit can come and buy from him. During a tour of his farm, Adzif showed how he used special papers to wrap the almost-ripe fruits before they could be plucked. He spent close to RM500,000 to buy the land and prepare the amenities needed for the farm, including the irrigation system. It is not easy and a lot of time is needed to tend to the trees from the time the flowers bloom until the fruits ripen. After that he have to prune the trees until the next season. What worries him is the threat of insidious fruit ripening diseases (IFR). Besides harumanis, he also grows durian belanda (soursop) and bananas. He also breeds and produce honey from stingless bees (kelulut) and goats.
Known for his “green fingers”, the 46-year-old expects his 30 harumanis trees to yield one tonne of fruits before the end of the season. His trees are wrapped in either white or brown papers, indicating the abundance of fruits waiting to be harvested. He need to meet a 100kg demand this Hari Raya Aidilfitri. His farm is next to the padi farm in which is submerged in water, lending a panoramic view to the kampung life. This is the second time his trees have borne fruits and he has planted an additional 80 trees, which are expected to bear fruit in two to three years. He able to make RM20,000 each season respectively. Sharing insights into his success, Jaafar said only fruits which were mature and ripe should be plucked to ensure their sweetness and quality. Once the mango skin is no longer sunken and the branch is brown, then it is fully ripe. He has to open the paper-covered mangoes to show what he meant. He said it took about three months from the flowering process to the full ripening of the fruits. It is a tedious and long process but a fulfilling one at the end of the day. He believe harumanis can be grown just about anywhere. It depends on how one takes care of the trees. Adding that he planned to turn his farm into a homestay to enable people to enjoy kampung life while savouring harumanis. Two years ago he was awarded the Asean Rice Science and Technology Ambassadors award for his hard work and commitment in increasing rice productivity, in conjunction with Asean’s 50th anniversary celebration. He was the only Malaysian farmer to receive such a recognition. The fruits are sold at RM20 per kg. A total of 3,336 tonnes of Harumanis mangoes worth RM66.7 million from Perlis are expected to be produced throughout the season this year.
Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) Minister, Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said this would benefit 2,415 Harumanis farmers across Perlis in 2021. Hence, a joint promotion involving all parties, including government agencies and private companies and to promote the mangoes via the ‘Harumanis Kembali Lagi’ campaign is being held from today until June 30. He said this to reporters after launching the campaign, organised by the Malaysia Agriculture Department at the Bukit Temiang Agriculture complex, Beseri, Perlis. Kiandee said the Harumanis mango industry would not only increase the traders’ income but also have a significant impact on the economy as well as agro-tourism and the downstream industries in Perlis. In this regard, he said the Agriculture Department had also established a strategic partnership with several delivery companies such as Pos Malaysia, Citylink and Line Clear by taking into account the delivery experienced during the movement control order (MCO) period last year. Among the improvements made were the use of stronger three-ply boxes, special trucks to transport the mangoes, and on the Harumanis collection centres. Thanks.