Fama to address Cameron Highlands vegetable price hike, says deputy minister II

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Agriculture and Food Industry Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi speaks during a press conference at Bayan Lepas June 16, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Agriculture and Food Industry Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi speaks during a press conference at Bayan Lepas June 16, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 16 — The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) will be taking steps to address the 40 per cent increase in the price of vegetables from Cameron Highlands, said Deputy Agriculture and Food Industry Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi.

He said the ministry was aware of the issue and that Fama is now looking at ways to resolve it.

He said the total lockdown affecting the whole country will definitely give rise to problems that might affect the agriculture sector even though it is an essential service.

"We have an operations centre that is open to assist those in the agriculture sector facing problems and even though we have limited officers due to the lockdown, they are always on standby to help," he said during a press conference while on a work visit to Teluk Kumbar this morning.

He said the ministry will look into any problems in the agriculture sector along the whole supply chain, from the producers to the consumers, to resolve the issues soon.

It was reported yesterday that the price of vegetables from Cameron Highlands rose by up to 40 per cent due to an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) being enforced in some areas, with some 12,00 workers not allowed to leave home for work.

Federation of Malaysian Vegetable Growers Associations secretary-general Chay Ee Mong reportedly said vegetable supply would be affected as Cameron Highlands produces 565 metric tonnes of vegetables daily.

Che Abdullah said the agriculture sector was part of the essential services so the workers should be allowed to work.

"The EMCO SOPs are tight so there might be issues going around this, especially when we want to make sure others do not take advantage by claiming they are from the agriculture sector," he said.

The types of vegetables expected to see price increases include tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, chillies, cabbages, beans, sweet peppers and all types of salad leaves.

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