MELAKA, Nov 26 — The prices of vegetables in Melaka has been found to have increased by up to 50 per cent in supermarket chains, markets and grocery stores due to several factors, including extreme cold weather in the country of origin as well as higher transportation costs.

Melaka Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) director Norena Jaafar said the situation had caused the supply of imported vegetables to decrease by up to 60 per cent at present.

She said the price increase involved imported vegetables such as broccoli, red chilli, choy sum (sawi) and cabbage, and the price increase in supermarkets was due to higher prices in the supply chain.

“Almost 80 per cent of the supply is sourced from other states and 100 per cent of vegetable producers are not from Melaka, most of which are sourced from Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Negri Sembilan, another factor for the price increase.

“The reopening of all trade sectors since October has indirectly caused the demand for vegetable supplies to increase sharply,” she said in a statement here today.

Norena said, however, the overall supply of vegetables in Melaka was sufficient, and there was no shortage of supply.

She said although there were no complaints about the increase in vegetable prices in the state so far, further monitoring and investigations were being carried out at all levels to ensure adequate supply and reasonable prices.

Meanwhile, she said there was a shortage of packaged cooking oil in the state because there were wholesalers and retailers who had failed to renew their licences to sell cooking oil, thus disrupting the distribution.

“We will hold a meeting with all cooking oil licensees in the state next week to ensure that the distribution shortage can be resolved, and enable consumers to buy subsidised packaged cooking oil in the market.

“Therefore, KPDNHEP Melaka reminds all traders to always abide by the rules and regulations set by the government to ensure the sustainability of trade in the state,” she said.

She also urged consumers to become the eyes and ears of KPDNHEP in reporting any misconduct related to trade, as well as other consumer issues.

She said any inquiries or complaints could be channelled to the KPDNHEP Melaka State Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) at 06-2345869 which operates daily from 8am to 6pm, and via WhatsApp at 019-279 4317. — Bernama