The unusual wet weather this Chinese New Year is expected to cause a shortage of produce that could continue until the Muslim festival of Ramadan next month. Yong Peng Vegetable Gardeners Association president Cheng Tai Hoe has stated that farmers in the country are having a tough time meeting the demand for vegetables if the rainy spell continues until the end of this month.
Malaymail.com reports that, according to Cheng, vegetables like eggplants, tomatoes, beans and chillies are often in high demand during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and need up to two months to be fully mature.
The sustained period of wet weather in Malaysia has already resulted in higher vegetable prices, sellers and farmers’ associations stated on Friday. “It’s the rainy season now and there’s been no sunlight, so naturally the prices of vegetables will go up,” Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesaler’s Association president Wong Keng Fatt said. Wong said the lack of sunlight means vegetable farmers have a smaller yield, and the lack of supply in turn pushes up prices. Wong said vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and long beans have seen a 50 per cent to 100 per cent increase in price.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department said in a statement on Friday that the country is now in the monsoon season, which started in November last year and is expected to last until March.