KUCHING: Native traders at the Kota Padawan market are at their wits end as the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected their business.
The traders, mostly from Borneo Heights and the Padawan areas, would come daily to the market to sell their fresh vegetable and jungle produce.
However, because of the rising daily Covid-19 cases, fewer people are coming to the market to buy vegetables and other jungle produce, resulting in some of the perishables decaying before their eyes.
A trader, Rose, 53, said that her business has taken a toll, experiencing losses as not many people come to buy her vegetables anymore.
“Business has not been good ever since Covid-19 cases increase daily, especially during the weekdays.
“I have to bring less vegetables, for example, I usually bring 20 bunches, but now I have to bring only ten or eight bunches,” said Rose who sells vegetables such as cucumbers, spinach, carrots and cabbages.
“On top of that, we can only operate from 6am until around 2pm,” she added.
Another vegetable seller, Singun, 60, said that his business was not good either, adding that the pandemic was giving him a tough time.
“Before this, I’d make about RM100 to RM300 in daily sales but nowadays it’s really disappointing.
“Some people would come during the weekend, but not as many as before the pandemic. Also the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) the people have to observe and comply with are a big drawback,” he said.
Fruit traders Naip, 55, and Sindom, 73, from Kampung Garung, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has really hit them hard and they are struggling to sell their fruits before the perishables rot.
Both Naip and Sindom are selling fruits, such as bananas, pineapples and watermelons.
“We have no other option but to pray for the pandemic to end and hope for better days to come,” said Sindom.
These native traders have accepted the fact that the pandemic has cost them so much economically.
However, they are persistent on selling vegetables in the market, hoping that soon, the situation will improve and people will once again flock to the market to buy their produce.