Buying greens a costly affair


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 07 Nov 2019

Customers choosing vegetables at the Perling wet market in Taman Perling, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Prices of vegetables have increased following the haze and then heavy rains.

The bad weather conditions have affected harvest, and the reduced supply has pushed up prices.

Vegetable seller Ah Wee said consumers usually had to pay more for vegetables during the rainy season, from November until early next year.

“The traders cannot do much to control prices. Supply is largely determined by weather conditions and prices set by wholesalers,’’ he said at the Perling wet market here.

Ah Wee said local fresh chilli which was sold at between RM12 and RM13 per kilogramme in September now cost about RM15.

He said despite the increase, locals were willing to pay more for local fresh chilli.

“They could buy cheaper fresh chilli imported from Thailand, at about RM10 per kilogramme, but many prefer the local variety.

Ah Wee: Customers prefer local fresh chillies although they have to pay more compared to imported ones.Ah Wee: Customers prefer local fresh chillies although they have to pay more compared to imported ones.

“Chilli grown in farms in Johor last longer, unlike imported chilli. The imported ones go bad easily due to early harvesting and the long journey before reaching local markets,’’ Ah Wee noted.

He said prices of leafy vegetables such as pak choy and spinach had also increased for similar reasons.

“From RM4 per kilogramme, they now cost RM6 while ladies finger have increased from RM4.50 to RM8. Cameron Highlands round cabbage is now RM6 per kilogramme compared to RM5 before,” he said.

Another vegetable seller, James Ragu said traders had no choice but to sell at higher prices.

“We too are affected as we now have to pay more for supplies from wholesalers.

“Apart from weather conditions and harvest, the prices of vegetables are largely determined by prices we have to pay to the wholesalers,’’ he explained.

James said the authorities should look into the matter instead of penalising traders found selling vegetables at higher prices.

“In fact, we are at the losing end as sometimes unsold items have to be thrown away,” he said.

James said prices of vegetables had increased since late September, with coriander leaves selling at RM26 per kilogramme.

Fishmonger Ah Tee said prices of fish and other seafood had stabilised for now.

“Consumers may have to pay more during the wet weather or during Chinese New Year in January,” he said.

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