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Stay at home, unless you have urgent matters to attend to. For many people right now, part of those urgent matters include grocery shopping.
When Wuhan started their lockdown, grocery delivery was immediately mobilized by local grocery stores and delivery riders. Orders for groceries were made online and dropped directly at citizens’ doorsteps.
While Malaysians have online grocery deliveries as well, almost every large grocery-chain has delivery slots fully booked.
Online grocery orders through other third-party apps can get complicated and expensive as well, since oftentimes there is a weight limit or higher delivery charges.
Most people in the country are also not familiar with online deliveries, which is why they opt to go to grocery shopping themselves.
This could be risky, as it’s still possible to come into contact with Covid-19 positive patients at grocery stores.
In addition to that, produce sellers have barely been able to sell their goods. Many have a surplus of vegetables that can’t be sold because not enough people are buying from fresh wet markets. Instead, vegetables are left to sit around and rot.
Farmers in Cameron Highlands are also facing difficulties in sending produce to other states, since many major highways have closed down. Instead, they are now donating the vegetables to the needy in Ipoh.
So now we have both sides of the equation: produce sellers who can’t sell produce, and the Malaysians stuck at home who have to continuously leave the house to stock up on food.
The obvious logic here is to find a way to connect farmers and residents directly, but Malaysia doesn’t yet have a working infrastructure to support that.
Instead, farmers have taken to social media to try to sell their own goods online so it doesn’t go to waste.
Our Department of Agriculture has tried to help out by asking farmers to list their available goods on a Facebook post, but response has been lukewarm and clunky.
So far, around 100 farmers have commented on the post, offerings all kinds of produce and located in all areas of Malaysia. It’s worth taking a look to support our local farmers!
Until a better platform is created to connect the supply of produce to the demand of #StayAtHome Malaysians, we have to continuously take our chances at a grocery store while small-time farmers struggle to sell their produce.
So why not try connecting to your local farmers directly and get fresh produce delivered straight to you instead?
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.