One of the concerns raised by the public during MCO is food security in which people were afraid there might not be enough food stock to cater to everyone’s needs. The public’s concern grew bigger when supermarkets and grocery stores had empty shelves because of all the panic buying.
Unfortunately, panic buying is not the only factor that had affected the nation’s food security. Malaysiakini reported that the implementation of MCO has complicated the delivery process for Cameron Highlands farmers. This resulted in them throwing away tonnes of vegetables.
It looks like a similar challenge had befallen the market operators of Alor Setar. According to Berita Harian, stalls in markets are now selling vegetables and other items at a higher price because stocks are not being delivered as often as it used to.
This has led to a number of stalls to be closed and shops that are currently operating have no choice but to sell the items at a higher price to make ends meet.
Vegetables such as chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbages have experienced a sharp hike in prices.
The price for cabbage per kilo has gone up from RM4.00 to RM6.50. Additionally, 1 kilogram of large chillies can be purchased at RM12.00 now. That is an increase of RM4.00 when compared to its initial price of RM8.00 per kilo.
“We can’t do anything about it because most vegetables are imported from Thailand and some are even from Cameron Highlands. Problems occur when the wholesaler limits stock delivery,” said Lawrance Thasal, a shop owner in Alor Setar’s public market.
Even though the price of vegetables have increased, the selling price of wet items such as chicken and fish still remains stable.
The manager of Alor Setar’s public market, Mohd Fauzi Sharip also voiced out his concerns regarding the dwindling number of shops that continue their operations during Covid-19.
“The stock decreases as the days go by. We’ve seen from 10 active shops, it has now been reduced to 6 shops that are currently operating,” stated Mohd Fauzi.
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