The Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association (KLWA) has said that the prices of vegetables have increased significantly due to the northeast monsoon season.
According to FMT, prices of cauliflower, beans, chillies, and several other vegetables have risen by about 200% over the last two weeks.
In an infographic shared by Harian Metro on 24 November, it can be seen that cauliflower has more than doubled in price from RM7/kg to RM16/kg, while the price of broccoli has increased from RM8/kg to RM20/kg.
Meanwhile, the price of bok choy (sawi pendek) has seen a whooping 300% increase from RM3/kg to RM9/kg.
Some other vegetables such as cabbage has also seen a 33% increase from RM4/kg to RM6/kg.
The KLWA president, Wong Keng Fatt said the monsoon has caused floods and landslides in Cameron Highlands and other vegetable-growing areas, affecting their crop growth and harvest.
Besides that, Wong also attributed the price hike to the labour shortage in the farms.
“The slow recovery of the economy is making it difficult to bring in workers from overseas,” he said.
He also said the distributors in Cameron Highlands, where much of the country’s vegetables are grown, had notified him of the issues they face, such as floods, landslides and labour shortage.
According to Cameron Highlands Vegetable Farmers Association president Chai Kok Lim, Malaysia imports about two-thirds of is vegetable needs but the global border restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt the supply.
“These prices are greatly influenced by the laws of supply and demand,”
“Vegetables like chilies are expensive because they are seasonal and depend on import factors.” he said.
In addition, Chai also said the cost of transportation had increased, leaving distributors no choice but to increase prices.
It is also believed that this trend will stay until the Chinese New Year holidays are over.
On 23 November, the Consumers’ Association of Penang has urged the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to investigate the spike in vegetable prices, saying it feared suppliers were violating the Anti-Profiteering Act.