Soaring vegetable prices hurt household budgets

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It is not only because of the floods that prices of vegetables have soared. The weakening ringgit may have made foreign vegetables cost more, while fuel price hikes last year may also have contributed to the price hike.

Blog reader Henson sent in this photo of kangkung which normally costs RM6.99, growing freely in a drain in Relau
Blog reader Henson sent in this photo of kangkung which he says normally costs RM6.99, but here is seen growing freely in a drain in Relau, Penang

Moreover, Penang had quite a few vegetable farms in the past in places like Tanjung Tokong and before that, Farlim, but these were sacrificed for property development. Now many wholesalers in Penang have to rely on lorries coming from Cameron Highlands for the bulk of their local vegetable supply.

Increasingly our food security looks heavily reliant on supplies from the Camerons and overseas. And we know how vulnerable the Camerons supply is.

One homemaker said her weekly grocery bill for vegetables has rocketed by two or three times compared to the amount she used to pay a few years ago.

This rising food bill is hurting the budgets of many households, which are already bracing themselves for the GST onslaught.

What is your experience?

Should we promote more community and organing farming initiatives in unused public spaces?

Has the government neglected the promotion of food security as a major priority while encouraging high-end property development to proliferate and allowing the conversion of agricultural land to commercial use?

This excerpt from a Star report dated 5 January:

Federation of Malaysian Vegetables Wholesalers Asso­ciation treasurer Chong Tek Keong said the prices of vegetables have risen by between 40% and 50%.

He said the prolonged rainy season had caused a drop in local supply by between 30% and 40%.

Denying that the profits of wholesalers’ had increased because of the higher demand, he said it was farmers who were charging more for their produce.

“Supply was already low because of the recent crackdown on illegal immigrants in Cameron Highlands and mud floods there and the East Coast floods have pushed prices even higher.

“Wholesalers only resumed their delivery to certain areas in Kelantan and Pahang on Monday,” he said.

Chong said prices of locally grown vegetable were only expected to drop after the Chinese New Year next month.

Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary Chay Ee Mong said the rainy weather and floods affected the produce of vegetables throughout the country and not only in the highlands.

“The weather is too wet for any harvest progress.

“Hopefully, the weather will return to normal soon so that leafy vegetables can be harvested in time to meet the higher demand during Chinese New Year,” he said.

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gk ong

Sunday Star today headlined price hike of hawker food with reduced potion claiming price hike in ingredients like vegetable and prawns.
We consumer should boycott those unscrupulous vendors for a month. Cook at home to cut cost or at least eat roti sandwich prepared from home at your workplace.

Til now the price of vegetables has not gone back to normal.

Don Anamalai

The food potion is getting smaller.
Penang hawker food like Char Kway Teow is now becoming appetizer, cannot fill your stomach.
A full decent meal will now cost more.
Sigh!

Sia Boey Pek

Cost More Politan Penang?
Don Anamalai, as the saying so popular here goes:
Work harder to enjoy higher cost of living. And live like rich fellas in Pg Island.
Complaining is futile. Highlighting high cost of living is taboo to psycophants!
Just accept it as fated lah!
Otherwise, just migrate to mainland!!!

raja raj

Sia Boey Pek,
Got free kangkung at Belum Forest?
You may miss it if you drive your 4WD too fast.

Sia Boey Pek

raja raj.
Sia Boey market got thrown away kangkung for free.
I can give you some at night. Nobody will see.
Don’t say I pity you too much loh!!!
Unless I judge you wrongly as bo looi lang.

Phua Kai Lit

You are probably committing hara kiri/seppuku at a slow rate if you eat
free kangkung that grows in heavily polluted waters.
Especially so if there is heavy metal pollution.
(The experts on nutrition, environmental health and
using plant material to purify polluted waters can enlighten us on this)

Will PM Najib ask Malaysians to gather kangkung for free next ?

iSupercally

Opposition and their sycophants always like to make presumption but one thing is definite. He will help the people with 950 this year with many plus plus.

Ed G

How can we be sure that the kangkung we buy from the market or consume in coffee shops and restaurant does not originate from such polluted sources?

Ananars

In life you can never be sure just like the food, fish, meat, shop or hawkers food, packed or tinned food, the environment or anything else. The law is there and if unscrupulous people want to make more money at the expense of the people, they will have to take a chance and we the people are taking chnaces everyday.

Ananars

Like I said we cannot be sure and its good that Phua Kai Lit is trying to bring to the blog attention on why the drain kangkung is not fit to eat just like the awareness he is highlighting in his past comments on the danger of the Lynas rare earth factory that willl affect the people health and environment.

gk ong

That should be the responsibility of our Agriculture/Agro Minister, who instead of doing his job, wasting time and resources posting FB message with racist tone.

tunglang

Folks with no knowledge of agro-culture will say anything unhygienic as good under the sky. Actually, in hydroponic practice, water is mainly used without the need for soil as water retention. Plants are placed in receptacles within reach of water below. In aquaponics system, water with rich nutrients from fishes breed in water are channel to these hydroponic system. The plants will absorb these nutrients thus purify the water which in turn are channel back to the fishes. Thus you can harvest the vege as well as the fishes for food. The longkang is a totally different matter beyond agro-practical… Read more »

Michael

The water supply to the kangkung looks a bit dodgy

gk ong

Our pipe water has been dodgy too, else why most homes install own water filtration system … to get cleaner drinking water.

Penang Hill Farmer + Rainwater Collector

gk ong. Your 24/7/365 Idol is PBAPP Chairman. Pls tell him his pipe water is dodgy. Can or not???

rilakkuma

Kangkung was RM2 per kilo when encouraged by Najib to eat but at supermarket now selling RM6-7 per kilo. Najib should get Felda to focus on green vegetables and less palm plantation otherwise nothing cheap in market!

herman

Pak Lah used to say ‘Pertanian adalah perniagaan’.
Maybe city dwellers can grow own vegetables hydrophonic way.

Kangkung Longkang should be called KangKang as it is truly ‘organic’!

There is a strong possibility that price of vegetables may not go back to old price as the weakened Ringgit is unlikely to recover.

gk ong

Can do commercial farming of kangkung at longkang as the water supply is full of nutrients.

Penangkia

The kangkung will help to purify our longkang water at the same time!

i

Don`t worry, when the weather settle down veggie price will go back to normal

khayrin

Free kangkung along longkang at Relau can promote Freeganism in Penang!