YONG PENG: Chickens farms in Yong Peng have the capacity to ramp up production to address the egg shortage in the country, but the government needs to quickly engage farmers on this, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The MCA president said over 100 out of the nation’s 2,000-odd chicken farms are located here, producing eggs for the domestic and Singapore markets.
“About one million eggs are exported to the island republic daily, so I do not think it will be an issue for the farms to up their supply for the domestic market.
“Moreover, Singapore has also gradually reduced its dependency on eggs from Malaysia from 72% in 2019 to less than 50% last year.
“I have raised this matter with the Prime Minister recently and the government should act fast (in approaching the farms in Yong Peng) as the farms need time to prepare.
“This could avoid the shortage of eggs from being prolonged as the fasting month and Hari Raya Aidilfitri are approaching soon after the lunar festive season,” he told reporters at the Johor-level Chinese New Year celebration here yesterday.
Dr Wee, who is also Ayer Hitam MP, said local egg farmers should be prioritised to supply eggs to the domestic market rather than importing them from India.
“Since the imported eggs from India are sold at RM0.50 each, why not allow locals to sell their eggs at the same price?
“I believe the supply of eggs will stabilise if the price is increased from the present RM0.41 to RM0.50,” he added.
He also raised the matter of freshness of the eggs that came from India, which take a few weeks to reach Malaysia, compared with those supplied by local farmers.
Dr Wee said he would welcome the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, should it decide to conduct a working visit to Yong Peng to look at the issue.
On Jan 9, he had questioned the necessity of Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu’s working visit to monitor the egg production process in India.
Dr Wee said Mohamad could have received a better perspec- tive on the issue by visiting the Ayer Hitam parliamentary constituency.
In December last year, Mohamad said the government agreed to import eggs from several foreign sources as a short-term solution to meet domestic demand.