‘Cheeper’ and plentiful

KUALA LUMPUR: The intervention measures taken by the government to stabilise the price and availability of chicken in the market have paid off, as there is now an oversupply in the market after months of shortage, says Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

Measures such as abolishing approved permits (AP), opening up imports and temporarily halting exports to stabilise domestic supplies, according to the Agriculture and Food Industries Minister, had been “effective”.

“At this time, we are seeing an oversupply of chicken, which has kept the prices of chicken in the market lower than the ceiling price,” he said during a Question and Answer session in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He said at this juncture, Malaysia was at a 106% self-sustainability rate for chicken.

“We have the capacity to export chicken from our country,” he added.

Kiandee was responding to a supplementary question by Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh) on how the government would be involved in the industry, which has already achieved full self-sufficiency.

He was quoted recently saying that the government would review the chicken ceiling price and approval to export chicken when the ceiling price of RM9.40 per kg in Peninsular Malaysia ends on Aug 31.

On a related note, Kiandee (Bersatu-Beluran) said it was difficult for the government to guarantee that prices of items would not continue to rise as there were factors which were beyond the country’s control.

He said the rise in food prices was attributable to the increase in input costs, which is influenced by domestic and international challenges.

“The geopolitical conflict and the depreciating ringgit are some of the factors.

“Diseases, floods, drought and rising labour costs have led to the rise in input costs,” he said.

On that note, he said the government had taken measures such as subsidies to tackle the problem.

Kiandee said this in response to a supplementary question by Steven Choong (PBM-Tebrau) on the sufficiency of the government’s measures to control rising prices in the next two to three years.

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