JOHOR BARU: Pineapple farmers are encouraged to make use of social media as a marketing platform for them to sell their products and not depend entirely on wholesalers.

This is after a large supply of pineapples produced by farmers went to waste as logistics and sales have been restricted under the movement control order (MCO).

Farmer and founder of Fionanas (M) Sdn Bhd Iskandar Zulkarnain, 47, said that farmers should work extra hard during these trying times in order to survive and stay in business.

“The oversupply was due to lack of mobility during the restriction order and because fewer people are coming out.

“As such, we have to be more aggressive in terms of marketing, especially on social media so that we can continue to generate sales and income, ” he said, adding that he had started selling pineapples door-to-door using Cash on Delivery (COD) method.

Iskandar, who owns a pineapple plantation in Pontian said the current market price for pineapples had also dropped due to the oversupply.

“Some of the farmers have sold their fruits for 50sen per kg. The usual price is RM2.50 to RM3.50 per kg for MD2 variety.

“Johor Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) has also lent a helping hand by buying the fruits for RM2.10 per kg from the farmers affected, ” he said.

Another farmer, Khalit Kasmoin, 63, said that sales for MD2 has not been affected, unlike the Moris and Josapine variety.

“We are now depending on COD to sell our products to continue generating income.

“There are no issues for the MD2 variety as the demand has remained high. The oversupply is for Moris and Josapine variety as these two types of pineapples are not suitable for direct consumption and requires processing, ” he added.

Khalit said he currently sells 300kg of MD2 pineapples through COD.

Meanwhile, farmer and founder of Jutawan Agriculture Products (M) Sdn Bhd, Sih Huay Heng, 51, said market price for MD2 had dropped.

“The standard price for MD2 is RM2.50 but now the price has gone down but we can still manage to go on.

“Nowadays we do business through deliveries or walk-in for those living in the Pontian area, ” he said.

“We usually export our products to China, Japan and the Middle East but since the MCO started, we have been channeling our produce to Kelantan, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur, ” he said, adding that demand for pineapples in the local market was still high.

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