Sunday, December 23, 2012


We say that Malaysia pushes itself to become an agricultural country, wanting and wishing to produce food for its own people and trying not to depend on import as far as possible.Exposition the likes of MAHA biennially hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro based Industries is a showcase and even acknowledged as a global agro- exhibition. Exhibition as it is expects much from realty. All the best could be exhibited, exciting everyone with what they see or observe. The question always boils to the real production rather than the best of the best.

MAHA 2012 was held from 23 November to 2 December 2012 at Serdang Selangor recently. Many were excited by the products of agriculture they saw at the exhibitions. No I was not at the exhibition ground, missing out the grand show.

However I frequent markets either the weekly fair or the normal daily market places. Certainly they give us a good and fair picture of what are produced and what are not.The quantity and quality too define the production at hand.

A one day visit to the neighboring country and especially to the border town of Haadyai in Thailand recently gave an indicative of Thailand's agricultural production. A good morning walk with two friends from Putrajaya after the 'subuh' prayer exposes us to an open market close to the city centre, displaying the early morning activities of the sellers and buyers. More excitingly we were greeted with fresh greens and all the richness of food for the dining tables or kitchens where ever you choose to place them once you have made the purchase and taken the produce home.

We also explored the main market of the city and obviously perplexed with what we saw. The quality and quantity themselves far outstretched what we would find at many of the big fresh markets at home. We wondered and asked would all that productions for that particularly day find the market and buyers. Remembering tomorrow is another day and more would be added.  

Take a look at the following photographs which speak volume of the agricultural supply that are served at two markets on the same day. The prices offered or listed made us want to cart home most things only the transportation limited the quantity. Imagine the other market places in the country!. Maybe we underestimated the power of people to buy products either for home consumption or for trade in all the business places especially the restaurants and hotels in the country. Nevertheless we are thankful to have been given a golden opportunity to see the agricultural sector at its best i.e the products in the market places and not at exhibitions.

It is no surprise that lorry-loads of greens, fishes etc crossed the Malaysian border at Bukit Kayu Hitam and Padang Besar  every evening and moving on southwards even to Singapore.     

 We noticed that the Buddhist monks were at the market early in the morning, receiving 'donations' in terms of foodstuff from the sellers as well blessing them for their generosity.

 'Petai' ready for cooking and a kilo would have kept you contented for weeks.

At another section we found 'petai'and bananas. 'Pisang awak' fresh, ripe and would surely make good 'pisang goreng' A bunch costs RM2.00

 Now here is 'Pisang Bunga'. I was searching for 'Pisang Raja' and found that at another section of the market.

The prices are in Thai 'bahts' and fresh 'dokong' at RM 6.00 a kilo


Housewives would be happy to find fresh vegetables for lunch or dinner preparation.

This section of the road near the city centre was taken up by the street venders from 6.00 till 11.00 am. Seeking out the market in the morning has become part of the attraction whenever we visit a town and especially in a foreign country. It's colourful as well as lively and gives us an understanding of the people and their production.

 Moving about  a kilometer away we came to the main market of the city. Here we found the produce in abundance and thus wondered whether they would be sold off. Maybe we were conservative not realizing the size of the population here and the nearby towns and suburbs.The greens were still our focus though we did go into the fish markets as well.

This shop particularly sells 'petai' and it's a galore.

 Hundreds of 'limau manis' in the plastic bags.

  In large plastic bags ' daun limau purut' . These go for the 'tomyam' dishes.

Take your choice and see anything familiar. This is part of the interesting thing discovering the familiar and the new.

 At the market such as these, you would naturally be snapping away photos after photos as the atmosphere presented a unique experience.  Leaving us to question where we are in the agricultural sector. Now that we are also operating a restaurant, the exposure at the market gives directions and benefits to our advantages too.


Al-Manar said...

It is fascinating to see the variety of vegetables on display. One just feels like buying each of everything. My state has plenty of land left uncultivated - pure laziness. That is our people!

kotastar said...

Sdr Al Manar,

Yes you hit the nail in the peg. It was what I had in mind when writing about the market in Thailand , lamenting over our attitude not to toil the land and produce what are needed. Our friends from Putrajaya were taken by the variety of vegetables etc available and are deciding to make a return visit.Wait till you see the fishes available and for sale.SALAM