Malaysia: White strawberries from Cameron Highlands

Malaysian grower Damon Wong has managed to cultivate a white variant of strawberry. The 28-year-old, said it took him more than a year to see his plants bear fruit. “I’ve only just managed to successfully cultivate these. It takes between eight and nine months from the planting of the seed to the fruit-bearing process.”

First cultivated in 2009, white strawberries, though a rarity in Malaysia, are popular in Japan. They are even considered a luxury product there.

Many strawberry growers in Cameron Highlands, said Wong, wanted to cultivate the variant but did not know how to do it. “Many were unsuccessful. The fascination then died along the way as it was a lot of hard work. The plant needs constant care and controlled exposure to sunlight. Too much sunlight and it will turn red (but) too little and it will not be sweet. The yield for white strawberries is low, due to the difficulty of its management and growth,” he said, adding that the fruit should not be confused with the pineberry.

“I am still deciding on how to sell them. I’ll probably package them together with the red and pink variants.”


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