Minister says 61 Controlled Fresh Markets record total sale of over RM11m

People shop for their essential goods at the Chow Kit market during the movement control order (MCO) in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
People shop for their essential goods at the Chow Kit market during the movement control order (MCO) in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — The 61 Controlled Fresh Market (PST) locations established nationwide, as of yesterday, have recorded a total sale of more than RM11 million.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry (MOA) Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the establishment of the PST during the period of the movement control order (MCO) was to continue ensuring sufficient food for the people.

In addition, it is also to help the front-line workers in the food industry sell their produce.

“Among the problems faced (by the public, fishermen, farmers and livestock farmers) during the MCO period are the number of business outlets closed, besides the supermarkets which were allowed to operate.

“So the PST was created under the concept of a supermarket, complete with the aspect of health screening to help the public and the frontline workers of the national food industry,” he said during a Ruang Bicara programme titled ‘Covid-19: Food Safety Assurance’, last night.

The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) had so far opened 44 PST locations while the Farmers’ Organisation (LPP) has 17 PST locations nationwide, with 36 more PST locations to be opened in stages.

Kiandee said among the PST fresh produce sales were vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, meat, groceries and agricultural produce.

He said the PST was also set up to curb the issue of dumping fresh goods, including vegetables and fruits as they were not sold due to the MCO, while guaranteeing that the government would continue to ensure that food supply and food security remained at their best levels.

“The government through the MOA and agencies under the ministry will continue to take steps to facilitate the delivery, sale, retail, wholesale and so on to ensure that food items remain in every Malaysian home.

“To date, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry has granted approval to operate more than four thousand factories throughout the MCO period including those related to the food industry, including processing and seafood factories, plastic packing factories and so on,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stakeholder Management SOLS24/7 director Alya Syahida Allias said that people and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must know of the things needed by the person and group they want to donate or contribute to, to avoid food waste problem.

Alya said, by identifying the need of certain groups, it also helped them in terms of welfare and also cut the food waste problem especially when MCO started.

“What the needy really needs differs from community to community. For the homeless, right now they need a lot of basic essentials and fundings. For the frontliners, they prefer to have dry food, biscuits, 3 in 1 stuff, buns and cups noodle.

“For the communities at the People’s Housing Projects (PPR), they prefer to have groceries, and for MCO, we try our best to prevent people from going out,” she said on Tehmina Kaoosji live Instagram called ‘The Point’ discussing Food Security and Waste during MCO.

Alya also advised NGO to only donate what the recipients needed, not the items the donors want to contribute. — Bernama