FINDING vegetables at supermarkets across Singapore on Monday was a case of now you don’t see them, now you do.
The vegetable section at the NTUC FairPrice at Clementi Central, for instance, was empty by about 10am, except for a tray of carrots.
At 2pm at its Thomson Plaza outlet though, baskets bulged again with fresh stocks of cabbage and kale.
The supermarket chain’s chief executive officer, Tan Kian Chew, said that food court stallholders and others in the food business had turned up early to grab supplies.
One man was seen carting away a 20kg bag of frozen cabbages from a wholesaler’s at Geylang Lorong 21.
At wet markets, many vegetable stallholders found themselves with only half their regular supplies.
Those who did have greens said these cost them about double the usual price.
A stallholder at Bedok South wet market, S.P. Tan, said Chinese lettuce, which normally costs S$2 (RM4.4) per kg, was S$4 (RM8.8) on Monday, and kangkong was S$3 (RM6.6) per kg, instead of S$1.60 (RM3.52).
Hardest hit was the Clementi Centre market where 11 of the 12 vegetable stalls were closed because they could not get supplies.
Lee Choy Choon, 48, boss of the only stall open, said: ‘All I have are leftovers from Saturday.’
But not all were as badly affected. A few lucky ones in Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang were able to do a roaring trade, as they are close to local vegetable farms.
At Choa Chu Kang Street 62 market, stallholder Lee Yee Yin was thrilled his Sunday sales rose from S$5,000 (RM11,000) to nearly S$8,000(RM17,600) .
He made a profit of nearly S$2,000 (RM4,400) that day.
Said the 57-year-old, whose sources are local farms and a wholesale market in Kim Keat: ‘This is a good chance to earn more.’
Meanwhile, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, which met six major supermarkets and distributor Singapore Food Industries on Monday, said supermarkets are ‘confident’ of doubling supply in the next few days. – The Straits Times/ Asia News Network