Daily showers bring vegetable shortage and price woes

IPOH: The unpredictable weather has affected the production of vegetables in Cameron Highlands, causing shortages and prices to double.

Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary Chay Ee Mong said there would usually be dry weather from January to March, but it had been raining almost daily up in the highlands.

Now, there is a severe shortage of tomatoes, chillies, okra, long beans and eggplant, among others, he said.

“After the monsoon season, the weather should be just fine for the vegetables to grow, but the prolonged wet, cloudy and low temperature climate is affecting the crops.

“There is no doubt the crops are flowering, but they are not bearing fruits due to the acute weather. The estimated production is down by 50%,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Chay said the leafy vegetables had not been of good quality, either.

“The demand is there, but the supply is low. And no thanks to the flooding in Pahang and Johor, it has worsened the supply chain too.

“Prices of some vegetables have increased by between 40% and more than 100%.”

He said the crops had been impacted by high humidity in addition to diseases that caused crop failure or reduced their quality.

Chay said that other issues such as labour shortages, insufficient land, and a lack of subsidies were not easing the situation for the farmers either.

“I am just praying that the weather gets better for production to return to normal,” he added.

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