Traders wait over a month for local rice supplies

19 Sep 2023 01:25pm
Mohd Nazri (second from left).
Mohd Nazri (second from left).

MELAKA - Traders in the Bachang area, including those at the Bachang Local Market, have been waiting for local white rice supplies for over a month now.

Sultan Awaluddin HP Jamal Mohd, a retail trader, said that he last received a supply of local rice in July, consisting of 15 packets.

He said that due to the interruption in local rice supply, he has been selling imported rice, but he is burdened by the rising prices of imported rice, which increase almost every week.

"It's been a long time since we had local rice, and many customers inquired about it, but we haven't received any supply from wholesalers since July.

"The problem now is that imported rice has increased in price from RM26 for 10 kilogrammes, rising by RM2 every week, and now it's reached a price of RM36, while we only make a profit of RM1," he said when met here today.

He added that since he started his retail business more than 15 years ago, he has never faced a shortage of local rice like what is happening in most places now.

Another retailer, Mohd Nazri Mohd Noor, said that he has not received a supply of local rice for over four months, which has indirectly impacted his business.

He sympathises with less fortunate consumers, especially the B40 group, because they have no choice but to buy expensive imported rice.

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"We who sell rice don't make much profit, and it's tough for families in need because the price of imported rice goes up every few weeks.

"I hope the relevant authorities find a long-term solution and educate the public about this rice issue so that consumers can better understand and promptly increase the supply of local rice to small traders like us," he said.

Meanwhile, a single mother working as a security guard, Zamrah Halil, said that because it's difficult to get local rice, she has to buy rice by weight to ensure a continuous supply of staple food.

She said that she is burdened not only by the rising price of rice but also other raw materials.

However, she has no choice as she needs to support her four children, who are still in school and aged between 17 and four.

"Not only rice, but other items like chilli and onions have also increased in price, and people like me who are less fortunate are definitely feeling the impact.

"Whether I like it or not, I have to ration food and buy only what is necessary so that I can provide rice every day for my children," she said.