Shan-Yangon transport cost double amidst COVID-19 resurgence

Truck owners have raised transport charges between Yangon and Shan State. Photo : Han Htay (Lashio IPRD)

By Nyein Nyein

The transport cost for commodities from Shan State to Yangon Region has increased more than double amid the coronavirus crisis, said U Kyaw Thu, secretary of the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP). At present, the truck fare rates remarkably soar to K1.6 million from the previous rate of K600,000-650,000, he continued. “We can steadily transport the goods at the previous rate of K600,000-650,000. Now, the truck drivers are price markers,” he stressed. Following the double increase rate, only 20 to 30 trucks are seen entering Thirimingala Market of Yangon in the recent days.
“We see the entry of over 20 trucks only these days. Before the coronavirus outbreak and the period before the resurgence of coronavirus, hundreds of trucks are flowing into the region,” he stated. The vegetables such as tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, eggplant, potato and onion are abundant in Shan State. However, the local products cannot easily be transported to the other regions owing to high truck fares and other transport difficulties. As a result, the commodity prices are so high for consumers, according to MFVP.
“The truck operators raised the fares. Consequently, it directly hurts consumers. Nevertheless, the farmers do not even get handsome profit and benefit from that. The consumer price is unexpectedly ten times higher than the low introductory rate of farmers. Transport problem must be resolved to control the commodity rate. If not that, the price will continue rising,” he shared his opinions. The tomato is priced only K300 per viss (a viss equals to 1.6 kg), whereas the prevailing price is K3,000 per viss in markets in Yangon. Similarly, a cabbage fetches only K300-400 in the farm, yet, the price touched a high of K1,500 in Yangon. The cost of a cauliflower increased to K1,000 in Yangon from K150 on the farm. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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