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Saturday, June 17, 2017

No shortage of coconuts during festive season, says Tajuddin

© Provided by The Star Online
IPOH: There will be no shortage of grated coconut (kelapa parut) or santan (coconut milk) this Hari Raya, said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
Contrary to claims made by santan and coconut traders that price hikes are inevitable due to difficulty in procuring enough coconuts for the festive season, Tajuddin said there is sufficient supply to accommodate the rising demand of these two popular commodities in the country.
"The price of santan is expected to remain at an average of RM8 to RM9 per kg," he told reporters after handing out zakat to poor families at a buka puasa dinner here on Saturday.
Tajuddin said the Agriculture Department has been keeping tabs on the supply of the commodities and gave its assurance that there would be no price hikes as Hari Raya approaches.
"Based on the report received by the department, the supply is enough so far and no price hike is expected.
"It is not a 100% guarantee, but I trust we can go by this report that the coconut supply in the country is sufficient," he said.
He said the ministry would also take the initiative to import more coconuts from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines to ensure that demands are sufficiently met, preventing price hikes.
"Perhaps the traders were only thinking about this from a logical point of view in terms of insufficient supply due to high demand, but they may not know that we are doing the best we can to import more coconuts," he said.
Bernama had reported that price hikes on grated coconuts and santan were expected this Hari Raya as there would not be sufficient supply of coconuts.
Long-time traders said they were worried because compared to a normal day where they sold 150kg of santan and grated coconut, the amount would drastically increase to around 700kg during the Hari Raya period. 

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