The agriculture industry in Cameron Highlands contributes one of the largest income channels for the people, the state government and the surrounding areas. This is mainly due to the cool weather that the highland is naturally situated which provides the perfect environment for plantation of flowers, vegetables and other natural produce.
Rapid Development in Cameron
In recent years, Cameron Highlands has been experiencing rapid development in terms of infrastructure, real estate and most notably in the agriculture industry. This however has created a situation where lands are being cleared in the name of development and as such caused a lot of hardship for the people there.
The main financial institution involved in the agriculture industry of Cameron Highlands is Agri Bank where it has a branch in the area while Cameron Organic is the sole player there. Apart from that, there has been constant launching of new property and commercial areas around the major towns of Cameron Highlands. Due to this, lands are being exploited rampantly where many has called for a more stringent control before there are no more land left.
Supply of fresh produce from Cameron
Apart from that, the produce from Cameron Highlands has been affected as well. The most popular vegetables planted and processed from Cameron Highlands are cabbage, tomatoes, peas and Chinese cabbage. They are usually supplied to many parts around Malaysia while some are being exported to Singapore. Strawberries, a very popular natural produce here are being exported as well.
The main problem that farmers where 90 to 95% of them are Chinese is that vegetables are now being imported from China which have caused some major competition in the country. Farmers are suffering in terms of profit and income due to this. Meanwhile, about 90% of those who are employed in the farms are Bangladeshis and this requiring overhead like salary, incentives and accommodation, among others.
With all the factors involved, the agriculture industry is no longer as lucrative and attractive as it was before what more with the monopoly of a certain player and the rampant land clearing activities which have been happening without control by the state government or those who are in power.