KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry said there should not be any sudden increase in the price of vegetables in the market despite the landslide and flash floods in Cameron Highlands recently. Its minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the recent incident only affected 23 illegal farms located along the riverbanks near Bertam valley.
“The legitimate farms in Cameron Highlands generated about 1.5 million tonnes of vegetables annually and these farms were still running as usual. “We have not received any reports on a shortage of vegetables in the market and will continue working with the relevant agencies to ensure no sudden hikes in vegetable prices,” he said during a press conference today.
He said this after officiating a three day seminars involving women planters, livestock breeders, and farmers at Farmer Organisation Authority headquarters here. He said his ministry would not allocate any assistance for the affected farmers in the area as they were all operated as illegal farmers. The NST yesterday reported that the supply of vegetables, fruits, and flowers were adequate in the market although there have been fluctuations in prices. Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said his ministry was in the midst to launch the Herbal Development Division to expand the Malaysian herbal market.
“There are several local herbs products which could not be found in other countries, such as ‘Tongkat Ali’ which is very popular in China. “The potential for the nation’s herbal industry is great and we hope the industry will continue to spur by the establishment of the special division soon,” he said. Ismail Sabri added the establishment of the special division would provide an opportunity for the country to be a global exporter in high value herbal products based on the nation’s rich biodiversity.