Oversupply of imported bananas badly affecting Malaysian farmers

Malaysia Fruit Farmers Association wants the Government to control the import of bananas as oversupply of the fruit is badly affecting local farmers.

Its deputy president Chin Chee Keong said because of the large amount of rainfall and sunshine, there was more than enough Cavendish banana supply in the country, making the import of large quantities of the fruit a waste.

Previously, Malaysia could export bananas to South Korea and the Middle East when there was oversupply but other countries such as China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines were also facing the same problem, he said.

“Because of this, the Philippines and Vietnam have been selling the fruit at a lower price to Malaysia and this is affecting local farmers as the prices are slashed by 30%,” said Chin.

However, he said nothing has been done so far.

Chin hoped the ministry would cut down on importing bananas to give local farmers and wholesalers some breathing space and to ensure a healthy market.

“The price of bananas are now at RM 1.50 (0.36 USD) per kg, yet retailers and chain hypermarkets are still selling them at RM 3.99 (0.96 USD) per kg, leaving consumers on the losing end,” he added.

Chin, who is also a banana farmer in Kluang, said he was forced to destroy about 120,000 tonnes of bananas last month, worth about RM 200,000 (47,885 USD).

“The situation is hurting our local farmers and some of our members have switched to planting papaya and pineapple,” he said, adding that they faced about 30% losses each month.

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