PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A total of 42 Controlled Fresh Markets (PSTs) under Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) operating during the enforcement of MCO 3.0 have recorded RM18.9mil in sales from May 25 to June 4.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said in a statement on Monday (June 7), the 42 PSTs provide platforms to 348 farmers and 6,879 entrepreneurs to market their products during MCO, and offer options to consumers to get essential items with five to 20%mof savings.
He said each PST has eight basic commodities, namely vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, beef, and small and medium-sized industry (SME) products, grocery items and take-out food.
Kiandee, today, visited two PSTs which were MyFarm Outlet at Putrajaya and FAMA Operations Centre at Dengkil, to monitor the continuity of the food supply chain through the markets, which offer basic goods to residents during the first phase of the total lockdown from June 1 to June 14.
Ronald was accompanied by his deputy Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah, the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Haslina Abdul Hamid and Fama director-general Datuk Zainal Abidin Yang Razalli.
"The ministry is taking various approaches particularly to ensure the smoothness and continuity of food supply chain, including managing oversupply issue, among others, through the opening of PST at selected locations, that are operating by complying with the set standard operating procedures (SOPs) by National Security Council, ” said Kiandee.
He said his ministry will continue to make sure situations are under control and food supplies are sufficient and stable, as the agriculture and food industries are under essential services.
Ronald said a total of 76,869 permission letters had been issued by the ministry for the informal agriculture sector up to yesterday, including supply chain activities and marketing related to food necessity, to farmers, breeders, fishermen, B40 small traders and micro agro-based operators.
For the formal agriculture sector, involving factories, product or food industry manufacturers, they need to get permission to operate through Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS 3.0) under International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), he said.
Ronald said Fama has established an operation room, opened from 8am to 7pm, to ensure agricultural product marketing activities run smoothly during the total lockdown.
For farmers who face any problem of marketing their products, they can go to the Fama portal Feedback System at http://ffs.fama.gov.my/aduan/ or contact the Fama hotline at 019-7476754/013-3777100/010-7632684.
Meanwhile, farmer Zainal Marlan, 42, said the PSTs really help them during this challenging time by providing platforms to carry on with their businesses since MCO 1.0 in March last year.
"The PST ensures that farmers continue to sell (their products) and helps in reducing loss because of crops damage due to MCO. It also fulfils residents’ demand to buy basic items without having to be in crowds, to reduce risks of Covid-19 transmission, ” he said when met at Dengkil PST.
According to Zainal, due to a 30 per cent drop in income compared to during MCO 1.0, as more premises are opened this time, he tries other methods of selling namely via online and cash on delivery (COD) service.
For dragon fruit seller, Leo Chen Lun, 38, the PST’s concept not only gives business opportunities to farmers and SME traders but also provide a safe and convenient method for consumers to shop.
"The place is open and spacious and there is also a drive-thru service for customers who buy online. It is just that this time around sales are quite slow, maybe because, during this MCO 3.0, many shops and supermarkets are opened. So, there are fewer customers, but I collaborate with a friend to sell dragon fruits via home delivery, ” he said. - Bernama