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Govt to take several immediate measures to address vegetable price hike

BALIK PULAU (June 16): The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) is taking several immediate measures to address the 40% increase in prices of vegetables, believed to be due to the implementation of the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Cameron Highlands, Pahang.

Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said that the ministry, together with the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), had given an assurance to resolve the matter from producers to consumers.

“We (MAFI) have received information and are currently studying them, so that solutions can be applied. Surely, there will be problems cropping up during the ongoing MCO.

“Hence, MAFI and FAMA will take actions. In fact, we also provide an operation room, involving several officers, to ensure that any problems encountered along the chain, from producers to consumers, will be resolved from time to time,” he told reporters at the Teluk Kumbar Fishermen Market today.

Earlier, he conducted a check of food supply activities and fish marketing chains at the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) in Batu Maung and fishing areas in Teluk Kumbar.

Che Abdullah said that the agriculture sector is categorised as an essential service and it had to be run as usual, but it is possible that the process would be different due to the implementation of the MCO, EMCO and others.

“The process may take a bit of time due to the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), and the government also has to tighten the SOPs because it does not want others to take advantage by using the agricultural sector for other purposes. This situation is difficult but in terms of operations, the agricultural sector is allowed to operate,” he said.

Since Monday, the prices of some vegetables, including tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, chillies, cabbage, beans, bell peppers and all types of salad leaves, had increased by 30% to 40%, as production had to be stopped immediately following the EMCO being imposed in Cameron Highlands.

The media reported that the main cause was that 12,000 foreign and local workers in Cameron Highlands were not allowed to leave home for work under the EMCO.

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