- An Overview of the Supply Chain Management of Malaysian Vegetable and Fruit Industries Focussing on the Channel of Distribution
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Author(s): Norsida Man, Nolila Mohd.Nawi, and Mohd.Mansor Ismail
Keywords: Fresh fruit and vegetables, supply chain management, channel of distribution
Abstract: The paper delineates three fundamental characteristics of the local supply chain for vegetables and fruits in Malaysia where the marketing channels are still traditionally driven from the wholesalers' perspectives. Produce is procured from farmers by wholesalers and then channelled to the hypermarkets and retailers. Most of the produce attributes are lacking in terms of quality, packaging, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), traceability and safety characteristics. Most producers do not grade or pack their products and most of the production and marketing practices in the current supply chain are still traditional practices with only minor adoption of modern marketing practices being applied. This study indicates that production contract is not being practised. However, transactions on marketing or supply contracts do exist in the supply chain system. However, only a small number of farmers are involved in marketing contracts. The current system still relies on the old system of procurement and supply practices. The current supply chain management lacks attributes, such as the issues of consumer packaging, branding, and the promotion of organic farming towards sustainable agriculture. Thus, the involvement of government agencies and private sectors is essential in the promotion of production contracts to farmers.
- Evaluating the Perception on Objective Quality of Bahulu between Local Micro Food Producers and Consumers in Penang
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Author(s): Nabsiah Abdul Wahid, and Hamdia Mudor
Keywords: Objective quality, sensory dimension, functional dimension, symbolic dimension, bahulu, consumers
Abstract: Bahulu is very popular amongst Malaysians and is listed as one of Malaysia's heritage food. Bahulu producers in Malaysia are mainly made up of local entrepreneurs who are involved in what is categorized as micro businesses. These are businesses that have less than five employees with a sales turnover of less than RM250,000. The capability of micro businesses to embark on sophisticated marketing strategies will be close to none. Thus, they depend mostly on product (objective) quality to compete and survive in the marketplace. This study attempts to identify the objective quality of bahulu as perceived by the local producers and consumers in terms of the sensory, functional and symbolic dimensions; and also to find out whether a perception gap of the objective quality between the two parties exist. To do this, a survey of both (active) bahulu producers and consumers in Penang was carried out. The study found that the three dimensions of objective quality are importantly perceived. There are however differences between the two groups in terms of how each dimensions is evaluated and ranked. Although exploratory, the gaps found are important to the local micro entrepreneurs and they should take note of them in order to ensure they can sustain their bahulu businesses in the marketplace by understanding ‘what' component of bahulu to improve on. The same is implied for related government agencies like FAMA and MADA who guide these bahulu producers in their business ventures.
- Post Harvest Handling Practices on Selected Local Fruits and Vegetables at Different Levels of the Distribution Chain
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Author(s): Azizah Osman, Nazamid Saari, Rosli Saleh, Jamilah Bakar, Noor Diana Zainal, and Masturina Yacob
Keywords: Post harvest handling practices, post harvest losses, distribution chains, fruits and vegetables
Abstract: Proper post harvest handling practices are important to reduce post harvest losses and improve overall harvest quality. However, inevitable post harvest losses occur during post harvest handling at different levels of the distribution chain. A survey was conducted at different levels of the distribution chain where 634 respondents were surveyed from various zones to identify post harvest handling activities that were practised, the potential post harvest activities that can be carried out, and the factors contributing to post harvest losses. The results showed that 27% of fruits and vegetables were sent directly to the wholesaler without any post harvest handling activities. The remaining was weighed (25%), packed (17%) and washed (10%). Among the post harvest handling activities, packaging (23.8%) had the highest potential of reducing post harvest losses. A majority of the farmers did not perform potential post harvest handling activities mainly because of insufficient knowledge. As for the four categories (knowledge, attitude, infrastructure and resources) identified contributing to post harvest losses, the results showed that 36.7% was due to insufficient knowledge of good handling practices, 50.3% due to inefficient/improper handling systems, 51.9% due to improper infrastructure and 38.8% due to insufficient funding.
- Demand for Vegetables in Malaysia
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Author(s) :Tey Yeong Sheng, Mad Nasir Shamsudin, Alias Radam, Zainalabidin Mohamed, Jinap Selamat, and Abdul Ghariff Ramin
Keywords: Vegetable, multi-stage demand system, demand elasticity
Abstract: The Malaysian agro-food industry is increasingly market-driven. A closer look at consumer studies show that consumers are becoming more health-conscious and they are consuming more vegetables. This dynamism requires a scrutiny, particularly on the demand for vegetables at a disaggregated level. By using the Household Expenditure Survey 2004/05 data (one of the most comprehensive and well-designed surveys in Malaysia), demand elasticities for aggregated food, aggregated vegetables, and category-specific vegetables were estimated via a multi-stage demand system. The results suggest that while all of them are normal goods, consumer expenditure on fresh vegetables is poised to increase at a faster pace than processed vegetables, ceteris paribus. This, however, is uncertain because consumers are price elastic to changes in vegetable prices (except podded vegetables) since increasing demand will simply drive up prices if the inherent issues in vegetable production are not solved. Therefore, more investments in high-yielding, low-cost, and green technologies are ultimately needed.
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