Report: Rainy weather causing vegetable supply shortage ahead of Ramadan
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — The unusual wet weather this Chinese New Year is expected to cause a shortage of produce that could continue till the Muslim fasting month next month, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
The newspaper cited Yong Peng Vegetable Gardeners Association president Cheng Tai Hoe saying that farmers in the country are having a tough time meeting the demand for vegetables if the rainy spell continues till the end of this month.
According to Cheng, vegetables like eggplants, tomatoes, beans and chillies are often in high demand during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and need up to two months to be fully mature.
“Due to this, it is expected that the supply of vegetables will not be sufficient ahead of the fasting month and the price is likely to rise due to the high demand during the festive season.
“However, there is no problem for leafy vegetables such as spinach and mustard because there is still time for them to mature,” he was quoted as saying.
Cheng said produce from neighbouring Thailand is likely to be similarly affected by the weather, adding that this will likely drive up the prices of imported vegetables.
As an example, he said prices of cucumbers have gone up to between RM9 and RM10 per kilogramme compared to the previous maximum high of RM6; likewise long beans imported from Thailand are up RM16 per kilogramme.
“The vegetable farms in Yong Peng itself have also been severely affected by the recent floods and the production of vegetables has been very low since the past two weeks,” Cheng told the newspaper.