Tracking the real cause of the chicken and eggs problem

PETALING JAYA: Authorities are scrambling to get to the bottom of the latest chicken and egg shortages, says the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

Ministry secretary-general Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof acknowledged the issue and was investigating where the problems were in the supply chain.

“If the root (cause) came from retail, the ministry will investigate from retail to the upstream level to identify the causes.

“If it originated at farms, it would be under the supervision of Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (Mafi),” he told The Star yesterday.

Azman revealed that Mafi had also received similar complaints.

“Based on Mafi’s data, in September, there was enough supply. But lately, they too had received complaints on chicken and egg shortages.

“I have been told a series of meetings between Mafi officials and suppliers (at farms) are still under way to resolve such issues,” he added.

An official from Mafi, when contacted, said the ministry was waiting for a report from the Veterinary Services Department on the issue of egg shortage.

“We will release the findings of the report as soon as we receive it,” the official said.

Yesterday, The Star reported that poultry farmers said the current shortage of price-controlled eggs in the market would worsen ahead of the year-end festive season.

Industry players said the situation is unlikely to ease even next year because of several factors.

These include the rising cost of chicken feed due to weakening ringgit against the US dollar and weather factors.

When asked, Azman said the ministry was also monitoring possible shortages of other essentials such as sugar.

He said several initiatives would be put in place to address a sugar shortage.

It includes limiting exports to prioritise local demand.

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