PETALING JAYA, Jan 14 (Sin Chew Daily) — Malaysia Federation of Vegetable Farmers Association president Lim Ser Kwee said there would be vegetable shortage in the run-up to Chinese New Year, and if no action is taken by the authorities, the problem would likely last until Ramadan.
Vegetable supply impacted by floods
When contacted by Sin Chew Daily, Lim said vegetable shortage is expected to occur in Pahang, Selangor and Johor as a result of last month’s massive floods, and a full recovery may not come about in a short time.
“The damage done to the crops is particularly serious in Pahang, and it takes time for vegetable farmers to restore their production.”
He expected the prices of vegetables to swell by 20% to 30% due to the shortage.
“The magnitude of price increase depends on the types of vegetables grown in specific times of the year. Normally vegetable farmers grow more than a hundred different kinds of vegetables.”
He expected the shortage problem to last until Ramadan in April, when Indonesian workers begin to return their home country for celebration, resulting in lower production.
Not much issue for local restaurants
Pan Malaysia Koo Soo Restaurants and Chefs Association and Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association president Wong Teu Hoon said restaurants in the country would not experience shortage of food materials ahead of Chinese New Year.
“Having gone through the bad experience last year, restaurant operators have learned to purchase the ingredients according to their individual needs.
“They will not make bulk purchases considering the subdued purchasing power of the consumers.
“So there shouldn’t be any problem with the supply.”
He told Sin Chew Daily there wouldn’t be much problem with vegetable supply, as they would substitute with other vegetable types.
Instead, he is more worried about seafood prices due to reduced production.
No shortage for chicken, eggs
Meanwhile, Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Association of Malaysia (FLFAM) president Tan Chee Hee said chicken meat and eggs would not be in short supply during the upcoming festive season.
He said while the floods indeed had a negative impact on the operation of some livestock farms, supply of chicken and eggs is not much affected as most of the supply has come from Penang and Perak.
“The floods have instead sent chicken prices down because of lower consumption, as kitchen facilities were damaged in the floods.”
He emphasized that the factors that have affected the operators most are cash flow and labor shortage, which have adversely impacted the supply of meat chicken.