GEORGE TOWN: Corn could be both a new cash crop for Malaysia and the answer to soaring poultry feed prices that have caused egg prices to spike, says Sim Tze Tzin.
The Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Minister said the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute had conducted research that found farmers could produce over eight tonnes per hectare, making it viable to produce corn as livestock feed.
“We will have greater food security if we can plant corn as feed,” he said yesterday.
Though Malaysia’s poultry production exceeded 100% of domestic needs, Sim pointed out that 60% of poultry feed ingredients were imported and this exposes poultry farmers to global risks.
For decades, Sim said, Malaysia imported corn as a feed ingredient from countries like the United States and Brazil but now “the price has increased so much that there is a need for us to plant our own corn.”
He added that there was a potential for states with vast expanses of flat terrain such as Kedah, Johor and Perak to reap profits from corn production because of the high demand.
“It can be done. I have seen corn farmers in Kedah produce eight to nine tonnes per hectare,” he said.
Sim, who is also Bayan Baru MP, was at his constituency’s market to meet egg sellers and market-goers.
The price of eggs has risen by more than 10 sen in the last two months and is still climbing.
Sim expressed relief that egg retailers in Bayan Baru market are doing their best to absorb rising farm prices and keeping the end consumer price low.
One of the retailers, Tan Lian How, was spotted selling grade D eggs at 38 sen a piece while eggs of higher grades were between 42 and 45 sen each.