BANTING – The government plans to study the factors causing imported chillies to be cheaper to assist local chilli growers to beÂ more competitive, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“The people want lower priced goods …so we have to study why imported chillies can be sold at a lower price even after logistics and other costs so that we can compete with them (overseas producers).
“We cannot simply block the import of chillies. The local players must step up their game so that the public know that local chillies are of better quality and fresher,” he said.
He told this to reporters after launching an agriculture products collection centre for the Kuala Langat district in Telok Panglima Garang near here today.
He said 30 per cent of the chilli market in the country was imported, mainly from Vietnam, China and Thailand.
According to him, Malaysians consumed 300,000 tonnes of chillis each year
and that the huge market for it spelt good opportunities for chilli growing.
Noting that local chillies have premium value, Ahmad Shabery suggested the players in the industry create more recipes using local chillies to increase demand for the item.
“This way we can reduce imports,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery said his ministry was streamlining the operations of the existing 200 agricultural produce collection centres and would look into increasing the number from time to time. – BERNAMA