PUTRAJAYA: The move to halt chicken exports from June 1 will be reviewed once the country's supply becomes stable, says Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (pic).
He said a total of 3.6 million birds were exported to several countries every month including Singapore, Vietnam and Pakistan and the government's intervention as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday (May 23), was to ensure domestic supply was adequate.
Ronald explained that the country was currently facing a shortage of chicken due to several factors as informed by the industry, including disease and weight that did not meet standards to be marketed.
"The poultry and egg industry is an industry that should meet the needs of the country because we have achieved 100% in self-sufficiency level (SSL) for poultry and eggs (previously)," he told the media at the ministry's Aidilfitri open house here on Tuesday (May 24).
He said the government had intervened earlier to address the increase in chicken prices by providing subsidies of 60 sen per kg to farmers in February and March and then added another 80 sen in April and May, making the total subsidy at RM1.40 per kg.
"It is hoped this will cushion the price of chicken in the market at RM8.90 per kilo (ceiling price). The intervention measures involve more than RM700mil for six months," he said.
Asked whether the ministry would set up a special committee to monitor chicken supply, he said the proposal would be studied if necessary as Veterinary Services Department (DVS) was currently tasked with monitoring the chicken production situation.
According to him, the demand for chicken in the country was between 1.8 million to two million birds per day.
Apart from that, Ronald said the DVS had been instructed to expand supply sources from other countries and was now evaluating several applications from slaughterhouses abroad to increase chicken production.
He said foreign poultry slaughterhouses were accredited by DVS, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and the Ministry of Health, adding that there were currently several accredited slaughterhouses abroad including China, Thailand and Brazil. - Bernama