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[January 14, 2014]
Fama fresh produce may hit KR1M shelves [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: A COMBINATION of two products proven to lift the burden of costlier daily essentials off consumers is underway.
Pasar tani, a product of the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama), where fresh produce is guaranteed to be at least 20 per cent cheaper than those sold at markets, could start making an appearance at Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) outlets, where products are no less than 30 per cent cheaper than elsewhere.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told the New Straits Times that he would engage Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek to make the move a reality, as consumers needed an immediate reprieve from the increasing prices of goods.
"The plan is to provide consumers with greater access to cheaper, quality goods. By doing this, KR1M outlets can serve as a one-stop centre for the people.
"This is in line with the government's 'farmers to consumers' initiative, where the role of middlemen is removed from the supply chain to reduce prices. Introducing chicken and vegetables at KR1M outlets will be a win-win arrangement for all," he said, adding that it would be a joint project for him and Hasan.
Ismail Sabri said he guaranteed the prices of Fama produce sold at pasar tani and KR1M outlets would be uniform, and that the availability of both perishable and non-perishable items at KR1M outlets would save customers the hassle of having to go to different places to get the best deals.
There are 125 KR1M outlets nationwide, with 60 more due to operate in the near future, that sell only non-perishable goods, such as sugar, flour, cooking oil and condensed milk. The products are of generic and 1Malaysia brands.
It was reported on Monday that in a few years, each of the 505 state constituencies in the country would have its own KR1M outlet.
Fama chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin said as pasar tani were usually held once a week, a permanent set-up in KR1M outlets would allow consumers daily access to competitively priced fresh goods.
"This is a sound initiative that could help the people stretch their ringgit without having to compromise on quality. I guarantee you that the consumers will be happy. They will find that the goods, which are of the same quality as those sold elsewhere, are lower- priced." Badruddin said Fama would have no problem supplying KR1M outlets with fresh produce from its pasar tani networks to meet consumer demand.
He told NST that Fama could take it one notch higher by supplying KR1M outlets with products from small- and medium-sized industries, and that such a move would provide consumers with more choices.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said expanding the KR1M product list was a good move, as it would not only provide convenience to consumers, but also help them cut their expenses.
"For pasar tani and KR1M to join forces and complement each other is a brilliant move. This will meet the people's needs, as they need more options for goods that are reasonably priced." Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said the arrangement was timely. He said the association had been getting calls from people asking why they could not get perishable items at KR1M outlets.
"This is a superb initiative, as consumers want more choices when shopping at KR1M outlets. They have been burdened by the hike in the prices of goods, as traders pass on the increased cost imposed by middlemen." (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.
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