MELAKA: The increase in price of food supplies such as vegetables and chicken in Melaka is believed to be due to ‘middlemen’ who supply the goods to traders at high prices.
State Unity, Community Relations, Manpower and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Ngwe Hee Sem (pix) said the situation had forced traders to increase the selling price slightly albeit still making a small profit.
“Most traders procure supplies from a few ‘middlemen’, thus causing prices to rise at every level, so we will find a solution to reduce the involvement of middlemen in supplying vegetables or chicken to traders so that prices can be lowered.
“The result of an inspection carried out at the producer or farmer level also found that the supply price of vegetables such as okra (ladies’ fingers) and long beans are sold at RM4 per kg but increased to RM7 to RM8 when sold at the market,“ he told reporters after visiting the Melaka City Council (MBMB) Wet Market here today.
As such he said, a meeting would be held with the state Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to work together in addressing the issue of price hikes.
He said one possible solution was for FAMA to become the direct supplier of food supply from farmers to traders without involving ‘middlemen’.
Ngwe said apart from that, traders were also advised to source supplies directly from farmers or producers to buy supplies at lower prices and resell at reasonable prices.
“We will continue to monitor and inspect all networks of producers and suppliers, including ‘middlemen’ from time to time to ensure that the hike in food prices can be controlled,“ he said. — Bernama