Marketing the famous Bario pineapple

A SIP OF FRESHNESS: Fazidah Mustapha (right) samples fresh pineapple juice served inside the fruit, which is among those cultivated by her father Mustapha Radja Sewa Abdullah in Bario. Very few know that apart from the famous hill rice and spring salt, the highland on the northern part of Sarawak also produces Bario pineapple. To date, Mustapha’s 15, 000-acre farm has yielded over 50,000 fruits. — Photo by Jude Toyat

A SIP OF FRESHNESS: Fazidah Mustapha (right) samples fresh pineapple juice served inside the fruit, which is among those cultivated by her father Mustapha Radja Sewa Abdullah in Bario. Very few know that apart from the famous hill rice and spring salt, the highland on the northern part of Sarawak also produces Bario pineapple. To date, Mustapha’s 15, 000-acre farm has yielded over 50,000 fruits. — Photo by Jude Toyat

Ahmad Shabery (sixth right), Jabu (fifth right), Samsolbari (left), government officers and local community visit Mustapha’s pineapple farm in Bario.

Mustapha Radja Sewa Abdullah

Mustapha Radja Sewa Abdullah

Fazidah Mustapha

Fazidah Mustapha

Fazidah (left) and other Bario ladies display Bario pineapples.

Fazidah (left) and other Bario ladies display Bario pineapples.

BARIO: Bario highlands in the northeast of Sarawak with cool temperatures averaging 20 Celsius is famous for its pineapple other than Bario rice and mountain salt.

Bario pineapple is said to be at its sweetest best when grown in the highlands and not elsewhere.

Bario pineapple cultivator Mustapha Radja Sewa Abdullah, 76, has been cultivating it for more than 15 years on a nearly 15,000-acre plantation.

He said apart from the taste, Bario pineapple has other useful qualities.

“The pineapples here are sweet and possess high nutritional value. I believe they can help retain youthfulness, particularly for women who consume it once a day for weeks.

“Bario pineapple is special as it does not require any special fertilisers,” he said during a recent visit to his pineapple farm by Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and entourage.

To date, Mustapha better known as Pak Mus has planted over 50,000 pineapple bushes that are mainly for sale in areas nearby including Miri. It has become his major source of income, especially with the cultivation of Bario pineapples running in the family for three generations.

“It is also believed that Bario pineapples can cure several diseases including gastric problems. Bario pineapple has always been one of my medicines for sicknesses ever since I was 13 years old, and I continue using it until today,” said his daughter Fazidah Mustapha, 38.

The family was recently provided with a RM50,000 incentive by the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry.

“We hope that this assistance can help boost the economy of local entrepreneurs here, and we aspire to become an example to other cultivators to always give of their best in marketing this exclusive product,” he said.

MPIB chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali said Bario pineapple must be highlighted as a precious product from the Bario highlands.

“We see lots of pineapples that need to be widely exported here. Even though known for its sweetness, Bario pineapple has not being widely marketed elsewhere apart from Bario and Miri. It is also due to it being cultivated on a small scale using traditional methods.

“Therefore MPIB is determined to improve the Bario pineapple industry and enable the cultivators to utilise latest technologies in planting. We must strive to maintain Bario pineapple as a special product apart from other attractions like Bario rice and mountain salt,” he added.

Among the visitors was Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.

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Source: http://miri.my/2016/04/13/marketing-the-famous-bario-pineapple/