IPOH – Unpredictable weather has affected the production of vegetables in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, causing shortages and prices to double.
Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary Chay Ee Mong said the January to March period usually sees dry weather in the highlands.
Instead, it has been raining almost daily.
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 fruit due to the weather. The estimated production is down by 50 per cent,” he said when contacted on Tuesday.
Mr Chay said the leafy vegetables were not of good quality, either.
“The demand is there, but the supply is low. And no thanks to the flooding in Pahang and Johor, the supply chain has worsened too.
“Prices of some vegetables have increased by between 40 per cent and more than 100 per cent.”
He said the crops had been affected by high humidity and diseases that caused their failure or reduced their quality.
Mr Chay said other issues such as labour shortages, insufficient land and a lack of subsidies were not easing the situation for farmers. “I am just praying that the weather gets better for production to return to normal,” he added. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK