22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, February 3, 2023
22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, February 3, 2023
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    Get ready to pay more for vegetables, consumers in Malaysia warned

    ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – The continuous wet spell that is expected to last until February has reduced the yield of highland vegetable farms in Malaysia, and several industry associations are warning that prices will go up.

    Federation of Vegetable Farmers Associations president Lim Ser Kwee said consumers would have no choice but to pay slightly more for vegetables when ushering in the new year and Chinese new year.

    “If the rain continues, prices of vegetables will go up,” he said, adding that heavy rainfall is detrimental to yields, and eventually cause prices to increase.

    Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association president Wong Keng Fatt concurred, saying prices would go up further in the event of floods.

    “The wholesale price of sawi was about MYR3 per kilogramme (kg). Now it has gone up to MYR5.50. Spinach was about MYR3 per kg, and now it’s MYR6.50,” Wong said.

    Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association president says prices would go up further in the event of floods.

    PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

    “At the retail level, prices will be higher,” he said, adding that consumers may need to adjust their portion or selection to suit their budget.

    Farmers said they have been seeing a drop in yield since October, citing the tomato as an example, with harvests down by half due to a lack of sunlight.

    Tomatoes need at least eight hours of sunlight daily to produce fruit, though better results could be obtained by having anywhere from 12 to 16 hours of sun.

    Cameron Highlands’ Vegetable Farmers Organisation president Chai Kok Lim said farmers were making a loss by selling tomatoes at controlled price.

    “Our yields have dropped so much because of the frequent rain. Some farms that used to produce up to five tonnes of tomato daily are now down to only a tonne or two,” he said.

    “When demand is higher than supply, the price should be higher. But we can’t increase it to make up for the cost because of the price controls.”

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