DOMESTIC demand for durian, typically high during the harvest season in April and May, fell sharply this year due to lockdowns impose during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

“People are staying at home,” Candelario B. Miculob, former president of the Davao Durian Industry Association Council, said in an email interview.

He said growers had a good crop this season but sales have been low.

“The enhanced community quarantine and the subsequent lockdown due to COVID-19 have greatly affected our sales,” he said.

He added that vacuum-packed frozen durian exports to the US, which started in October, have been suspended as there are no flights to deliver the product.

“As of now, we cannot export to the US due to airport lockdowns,” Mr. Miculob said. Exporters are hoping to resume shipments during the August–October harvest season. — Maya M. Padillo