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Monsoon season brings 'bonus' for smallholders in Kelantan

Last Update: 17/11/2019

TANAH MERAH, Nov 17 -- The monsoon season, apart from bringing heavy rainfall, it also provides ‘bonus’ to smallholders in Kelantan, in the form of various kinds of tubers and root vegetables to make popular snacks in the state.

It is not uncommon to see so many small stalls and tents set up, especially by smallholders to sell the snacks to supplement their income.

Trader Fatin Farahiyah Kamarul Zaman said that from November to March, various tubers and root vegetables including sweet potato and tapioca would be in high demand.

“Likewise, my family has not missed the opportunity to sell varieties of tubers during the rainy season over the last 15 years.

“Tubers and root vegetables are in high demand since they are used in making local delicacies such as ‘kuih putu halba’ (made of tapioca) and ‘kuih cek mek’ (made of sweet potato), curry and many more,” she told Bernama in Kampung Paloh here today.

A Bernama survey in the village near Jalan Merah-Pasir Mas also found nearly 20 booths selling various kinds of tubers and root vegetables for as little as RM3 to RM6 per kg.

Fatin Farahiyah said her family could earn between RM200 and RM300 per day from selling the crops.

“Tapioca is among the most sought after, as it is synonymous with the monsoon season and is often boiled and eaten with grated coconut,” said the 27-year-old, who plants the crops on a 1-acre land behind her home.

Meanwhile, smallholder Mohd Noor Josoh, 55, said he could breathe a sigh of relief every time the monsoon season came around in the past 10 years, as he knew it bring in additional income for the family.

“I cannot tap rubber during the rainy season, so I took the initiative to plant various kinds of tubers on my 2-acres land in addition to renting my neighbour's vacant land.

“Among the crops planted are ‘ubi badak’, tapioca, sweet potato, ‘kemiling’, and they are sold to traders and middlemen for between RM3 and RM5 per kg.

“The RM500 to RM2,000 earned from sales can help support my family, apart from being used for my children’s school preparations,” he said.



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