SULING Hill in Bukit Mertajam has the potential to be a popular tourist destination, says Penang Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin.
The hill, she said, is famous for its variety of durians and can be further promoted as an agro-tourism place.
“Usually during the durian season, people often go to Balik Pulau on the island to satisfy their craving for durian.
“But we want to change the perception that only Balik Pulau has high grade durians. We want to promote other places in Penang and that the Suling Hill in the mainland too that has quality durians.
“I have been told that Suling Hill has 15 types of durians such as the famous Black Thorn, Musang King, Red Prawn, Hor Lor, Tekkah and many others.
“It is also a popular place among the locals for recreational activities.
“So, we will be doing our best to promote the place for domestic tourism as well,” Dr Norlela told reporters during her visit to the hill yesterday (July 23).
Also present were Penang Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Anun Man and state Agriculture Department director Shahbani Ismail.
According to Shahbani, the Penang Agriculture Department is currently working to promote the state’s agro-tourism sector through premium kampung durians.
“We noticed lately that the price of kampung durian had gone up to RM13 per kg now. Previously, it was between RM2 and RM5 per kg.
“Although kampung durians are not very popular in the market, they still have their own fans and can be further promoted among the locals.
“So, based on that, we are taking the initiative to improve the value of premium kampung durians by organising a contest among all villages in Penang for the best premium kampung durian.
“For those who are interested in participating in the competition, they can register their names at the agriculture office nearest to them,” he said.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad