THE price of a kilogramme of spring onions here is almost double that of a kilogramme of chicken.
Used mostly as garnishing, the price of the vegetable ranges between RM9 and RM12 per kilogramme, compared with RM7.70 for poultry.
The price of kangkung is RM4 per kilogramme, compared with RM2 about three weeks ago.
Checks at two wet markets here revealed that the price of sawi, spinach and eggplant had also increased by almost 100 per cent.
At the Chowrasta wet market, French beans were sold at RM10 per kilogramme compared with RM3 per kilogramme last month.
A vegetable trader, Ah Seng, 38, blamed the price hikes on the shortage of vegetables caused by the mud floods in Cameron Highlands last month.
He said the crackdown on illegal vegetable farms had also contributed to the shortage of vegetables here.
“This is not good for everybody. My regular customers are reducing their vegetable consumption and my livelihood has been affected,” he said.
In Pulau Tikus, cabbage is sold at RM5 per kilogramme, compared with RM2 per kilogramme previously.
Okra, an important garnishing in fish head curries here, now costs RM10 per kilogramme, compared with RM6 per kilogramme last month.
Vegetable trader, Dallas Mariadass, 42, who has a stall at Pulau Tikus wet market, said the authorities should take steps to prevent a possible acute shortage of vegetables over the next few weeks.
“A shortage in supply could result in a drastic increase in prices. This could cause some of our businesses to fold. Many of my regular customers have stopped buying vegetables as they are getting expensive,” he said.
State Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry enforcement chief Suhaimi Mat Sari confirmed that the price hikes for vegetables were due to the Cameron Highland crisis.
“Vegetables are not listed as controlled items by our ministry.
“The price of vegetables is
determined by the market depending on supply and demand,” he said.