Farmer Shares 4 Reasons Why M'sia Imports Pak Choy From China Although We Grow It Locally

He said many local supermarkets still rather import their vegetables from China.

Cover image via Shahrizal Denci (Facebook) & Shahrizal Denci (Twitter)

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A farmer from Sabah took to his Twitter account yesterday, 28 March, to share about why local supermarkets rather import their vegetables from China, instead of sourcing them locally

Shahrizal Denci, who is also an entrepreneur and vice-president of the political party MUDA, listed four reasons in his tweet after finding a packet of imported pak choy in a Servay Hypermarket in Ranau.

1. Consistent supply

Shahrizal explained that although we grow pak choy locally, many supermarkets still prefer to import the vegetable.

He said one of the reasons why, is that the production of pak choy from China is large and can be supplied consistently.

"Meanwhile, our local supply is always cut off, causing many supermarkets such as Servay to choose to import," he added.

2. Packaging

The second reason supermarkets prefer to import pak choy is because it comes with better packaging.

"Imported pak choy comes with packaging that makes it last longer," he explained.

Shahrizal compared it with the pak choy supplied from Kundasang which is wrapped in old newspaper.

3. Durability

He explained that even though the pak choy that comes from China has to cross oceans to get here, it's more long-lasting than the pak choy that comes from Kundasang — which only lasts for three days.

Shahrizal said this is due to China's advanced post-harvest packaging practices.

"And they also have a cold room system and the technology to make it last," added Shahrizal.

4. Cheaper price

The farmer said that even though it is imported, China still sells pak choy at a cheaper price because of the volume they are able to produce.

According to Shahrizal, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) has to explore post-harvest packaging technology that can help local farmers compete with China.

Image via Pexels

Speaking to SAYS, Shahrizal said he decided to highlight this issue because the public needs to understand the problems in our local agriculture system

The Sabahan said that, besides pak choy, vegetables such as cabbages, tomatoes, and lettuce are also imported from overseas — when they can be grown locally here.

"The cost to import the vegetable is cheaper than buying it locally," Shahrizal explained.

At the end of the interview when asked if there are other stores besides Servay Hypermarket doing the same thing, he said he wasn't very sure about it.

"I think most capitalist hypermarkets would want a consistent supply," he added.

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