KUALA TERENGGANU, June 20 (Bernama) -- The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) will conduct a rescheduling of the planting of sweet pumpkins (‘labu manis’ or cucurbita moschata) to overcome the problem of deterioration of supply, which often occurs during the monsoon season.
FAMA deputy director-general (Operation) Zainal Abidin Yang Razalli said that, currently, the biggest producers were in Terengganu and Kelantan but the supplies would stop when the monsoon season inundated the two states.
‘’Currently, FAMA requires 300 metric tonnes of sweet pumpkins every month but the output from Terengganu and Kelantan can only meet 30 per cent of the need.
‘’As such, we want to increase the number of contract farm participants on the West Coast to pick the sweet pumpkin as their main crop to accommodate the deterioration in supply especially during the monsoon season,’’ he told reporters after launching a FAMA Agrobazaar near Chendering here today.
To date, 100 contract farm participants from Selangor, Melaka, Kedah and Perak would start planting sweet pumpkins in August and the harvest was expected in November.
Commenting further, Zainal Abidin said the addition of 100 contract farm participants in the four states was expected to boost supply by 60 per cent compared to the 30 per cent supplied by Terengganu and Kelantan currently.
‘’FAMA lauds more contract farm participants to plant the sweet pumpkins because it is a vegetable commodity which can last two to three weeks without damage.
‘’In fact, its price has not gone down from RM1.50 per kilogramme..it is a profitable crop to plant,’’ he added.