Fruits are an important part of our diet. They contain minerals, vitamins, and fiber. There are a variety of fruits in many shapes and colors.
There are local fruits and imported ones. The imported varieties are apples, oranges, pears and grapes. Some of these fruits have been cultivated locally but without much success. Only strawberries seem to have been commercially successful in the Cameron Highlands. Most of these fruits are imported from China, Australia, America and Europe. They are found in almost every supermarket and convenience store. They also come in various forms such as juices, preserves, jams and flavors for ice cream.
Local fruits are equally delicious and nutritious. The rambutan, durian, mangosteen, banana, papaya and mango are just as popular. The only difference is that some of them are seasonal. However, this has been solved by our neighbor, Thailand. They have managed to genetically engineer strains of durian and now we are able to find the fruit in stores all year round.
Some ingenious food technologist has even made a health supplement from mangosteen skin and another has made papaya soap. Avocado creams and coconut shampoos are quite common. So fruit not only has nutritional value, but it also has medicinal use.
Fruits also make excellent gifts. Many people send fruit baskets instead of flowers. Fruit farming has become a great career and a lucrative one too. Much of our fruit is exported overseas at lucrative prices. Fruit sellers are doing roaring business in urban areas. Desserts, biscuits and sweets in fruity flavors are big business. Yoghurts with added fruit are very popular.
Thus, fruits are not only a good source of nutrition, growing them can also make you rich. So we must encourage our local orchard industry and reduce our dependence on fruit imports by encouraging more young people to take up this form of agriculture as the market grows and demand remains strong. There is a lot of land lying idle that can be cultivated. Another advantage is our tropical weather and excellent research facilities backed by the government. So let’s grow more fruit.