Make lo­cal fruits more af­ford­able

New Straits Times - - Letters -

MALAYSIA is a known fruit par­adise. The trop­i­cal cli­mate cre­ates a wide and re­mark­able di­ver­sity of ed­i­ble and suc­cu­lent fruit. We are blessed with a cli­mate in which peren­nial heat and abun­dant rain­fall per­mit a wide va­ri­ety of de­li­cious fruit to flour­ish.

Some of our fruits in­clude durian, known as the king of fruits, man­gos­teen, cempedak, duku­langsat, pomelo and snake­fruit, pa­paya, ciku, guava, sour­sop, mango, jack­fruit, star­fruit... the list can go on.

Some Malaysian fruits are sea­sonal while oth­ers are eas­ily avail­able through­out the year. Sea­sonal fruits such as durian, man­gos­teen, rambu­tan, man­goes, langsat, and pomelo, are gen­er­ally avail­able be­tween June and Au­gust and be­tween Novem­ber and Fe­bru­ary.

The non-sea­sonal fruits are pa­paya, guava, jack­fruit, ba­nana, just to name a few.

My com­plain is, I find lo­cal fruits to be more ex­pen­sive than im­ported fruits. The price of guava has gone up from about RM4 per kilo to about RM6, the price of man­goes from RM6 to RM8 and the price of bananas from RM5 to RM7 in the last few years.

When we com­plain, the traders too com­plain that they have to raise prices be­cause there is a drop in sup­ply in the last six months. When I ask how we could re­verse the sit­u­a­tion, the an­swer is they hope the gov­ern­ment would cut down on the ex­port of lo­cal fruits to keep prices down.

The gov­ern­ment should stop ex­port­ing so much, so we will have enough for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion. When sup­ply is more then de­mand, I am sure prices will come down.

LIONEL PERERA Kuala Lumpur

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