By Ashwin Kumar
SHAH ALAM, June 6 — The state administration is ramping up its efforts on the expansion of the Selangor Agro Market.
The State Public Amenities, Agricultural Modernisation and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Izham Hashim said this includes formulating four plans to ensure the sustainability of the agro market post-Covid-19.
“Even though the agro market had originated from the farmer’s market (pasar tani) concept, it now stands strong as a place that guarantees affordable prices. The Selangor Agro Market is here to stay and we will make necessary changes to make sure it operates smoothly.
“Some of the plans outlined by the state government include a proposal to upgrade the wet markets (pasar awam) into Agro Markets.
“This idea requires collaboration with local authorities (PBTs). On top of the upcoming agro mall in Puchong, there are already plannings in place to expand it further. This will be developed in collaboration with the private sectors,” he told Selangor Journal during an interview recently.
Izham said the state is also scouting for permanent locations for the agro market initiative.
“As of now, we have nine permanent locations while the remaining markets are based at the existing farmer’s market (pasar tani) locations.
“We also have plans to upgrade it into storage facility as well as to market processed food as part of our efforts to expand the marketing channels for the farmers,” he said.
Izham also reiterated that the Selangor Agro Market is the only outlet in the state that has marked down the prices of chicken and fresh beef meat below the controlled price.
He said chicken is sold at RM7.20 per kilogram, while fresh beef meat is priced at RM33.50 per kilogram, 50 sen less than the price control scheme.
Izham said that the Selangor Agro Market has recorded more than RM13 million in total sales since it was first launched on March 27.
Meanwhile, Izham revealed that the state government has identified 12 types of crops that can help boost and support Selangor’s agriculture and plantation sectors.
“The agricultural sector today features a vastly different landscape and requires different types of assistance from the government. For Malaysia to revitalise its agricultural sector, precision agriculture is the way forward.
“Based on our study and research, we have listed 12 types of crops which could be the prime-mover for the country’s agricultural sector. This includes bananas, pineapples and mushrooms,” he added.