JOHOR BARU: Plans are in the pipeline to open another 265 new pasar tani (agricultural markets) sites in the country by the year 2020.
Acting Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) deputy director-general (entrepreneur development) Datuk Dr Mat Sani Hassan said this would bring the number to 1,000 from 735 now.
He said the pasar tani was an integral part of daily life in Malaysia with almost every area in the country having its own weekly market offering fresh produce to consumers.
“The markets offer convenience to the public looking for fresh
vegetables, seafood, poultry and meat beyond the normal operating hours of wet markets,’’ said Mat Sani told reporters at the launch of the state-level Pasir Tani Bersih (Cleaner Pasar Tani) campaign at Pasar Tani Perling Mall in Taman Perling here on Wednesday.
Mat Sani said despite the existence of hypermarkets and supermarkets in most parts of the country, pasar tani was still popular with Malaysians and to some extent Singaporeans, who like to shop for fresh produce, especially those located in the Johor Baru district.
“On that note, Fama will open three new pasar tani in the Johor Baru district in Taman Bukit Indah, Taman Anggerik and Bandar Dato’ Onn by the end of the year,’’ he said.
Mat Sani pointed out that Johor has the highest number of pasar tani in the country with 65, followed by 64 in Selangor. The country’s first pasar tani opened in 1985 at Jalan Ayer Molek in Johor Baru.
Stall operators at all 735 pasar tani in the country, he said, recorded between RM1.5bil and RM2bil in sales, with some 10 million visitors patronising the market yearly.
“We open more pasar tani sites but the main thing bogging us down is finding suitable sites
and getting approval from the respective local councils,’’ said Mat Sani.
On preparation for floods, which regularly occurred at the end of the year, he said Fama would ensure pasar tani in states affected by floods would operate as usual.
He said Fama has 40 operation centres nationwide and states not affected by floods would deliver fresh produce to the states affected by floods.