JOHOR BARU: Local chilli farmers are in the midst of drafting an anti-dumping petition for chillies by foreign countries to stabilise the price.
Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the petition forms were distributed to the chilli farmers to be completed about a month ago, before submitting to the International Trade and Industry Ministry for further action.
The Government will impose higher taxes on imported chillies if there is proof that the dumping of the product is taking place in Malaysia, Salahuddin said after attending a closed door meeting with local chilli growers here.
He said feedback from local growers showed they had no choice but to reduce their prices in order to compete with cheaper imported chillies from China, Thailand and Vietnam.
He said the move had led to insufficient funds to cover even production cost.
Salahuddin said the ceiling price of local fresh chillies has been raised to RM4.50 per kg compared with RM4 before, to increase their profit margin.
He said the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority would still buy chillies from local growers at the ceiling price, as local supply was insufficient to cater to demand.