JASIN (Sept 15): Some 100 of the total of 312 farmers' markets (pasar tani) have opened in States under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (PPN) and this involves about 4,000 traders, according to Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) board member, Datuk Ghazale Muhamad.
He said the opening of the farmers' markets was for seven permitted commodities allowed for sale, namely, fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, processed chicken, groceries, and small and medium industry products as well as packaged food and beverages.
"For now, only Kedah and Johor have not been allowed to start operating the farmers' markets as these States are still under Phase One of PPN while only certain locations are involved in States under Phase Two.
"There is no limit to the number of stalls that can be operated at the farmers' markets but only seven commodities for sale are allowed during Phase Two of PPN. Any relaxation on other commodities for sale depends on the current standard operating procedures set," he told reporters after visiting the Malaysia Day Special Farmers’ Market at the Jasin Farmers' Market, here, today.
Also present were FAMA deputy director-general (Operations), Abdul Rashid Bahri and Melaka FAMA director, Hairudin Yunos.
Ghazale said: “The operating hours of the farmers' market's are from 6am to noon, and only those fully vaccinated are allowed to enter the markets involved and will have to produce their Covid-19 digitial vaccination certificate through the MySejahtera application.
"The operating days are the same as the previous schedule as these farmers' markets have regular customers while the traders have their own itinerary...for example, traders at the Jasin Farmers' Market also trade at the Merlimau Farmers' Market.
"We hope the reopening of the farmers' markets will help in the revival of the traders' business and economic activities which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
On another development, Ghazale said FAMA planned to brand the guava, 'Jambu Batu Loha (GU16)' (Psidium guajava) as an iconic fruit in Melaka.
He said that among the proposed new names for the guava was 'Jambu Manis Melaka' and the matter would be raised with the State government soon to get the approval of Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali.
"This guava is cultivated by a contractor on an area of ??about 4.86 hectares in Pulau Gadong which has produced 40 tonnes of the fruit a year.
"The guava is a common fruit that we find not only in Melaka but it is different in terms of crunchiness and sweetness as a result of the cultivation techniques of the entrepreneur," he added.