Watermelon farmers, traders suffer negative effects of glut, hot weather

06 May 2023 05:34pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX

JITRA - Several watermelon traders in Kedah have claimed to have suffered losses due to a glut and spoilage due to the current hot weather.

Abdul Azis Dogoi, 68, said that sales have also declined slightly during the hot season and has affected his income and made it difficult for him to cover the cost of his business.

"Sales are rather slow during this hot season but there still are customers, only that the price of Grade A watermelons can drop till RM2 a kilogramme (kg), but with the current situation, I have to sell at RM3 a kg, as I have to pay for the lorry, workers and plastic,” he told Bernama recently.

Abdul Azis, who runs his business in Ayer Hitam, Jerlun said he usually gets about 10 tons of watermelon from farmers for two weeks, but almost a ton will be damaged due to hot weather and would be thrown away.

Meanwhile, watermelon seller, Khairul Anuar, 46, has also been affected by the drop in prices due to a glut and had to sustain losses when around 500 to 600 kgs of watermelon was spoilt.

"The capital for a lorry-full is around RM30,000, the price of watermelons has dropped from RM5 a kg to RM1 a kg, spoilage is high as well,” he said, adding that the glut has been caused also by increased production in other states, including Kelantan and Terengganu.

Watermelon farmer, Kso Seong Guan, 68, who has been planting the crop for over 30 years, said that the current continuous hot weather has caused the crop to not bear fruit well.

"We farmers in Kedah are not having a good crop due to extreme hot weather in the long term. Growth is stunted, the fruit is not round, and previously other states would take (watermelons) from Kedah, but now they are producing their own watermelons,” he shared. - BERNAMA

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