KUALA LUMPUR: Prices of chicken and eggs are expected to be floated after June as part of the government's efforts to overcome the food shortage, says Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.
He said the prices would be floated so that the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry could monitor and assess fluctuations in the prices of the goods compared to the current ceiling price.
"We are confident that the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry will satisfy the demand for chicken and eggs (through price floating) and even now it is sufficient but in five or six months' time, it will be more sufficient if no new undesirable matters (such as disasters) arise," he said when interviewed at his office here on Tuesday (Feb 21).
In January, Mohamad said that his ministry was studying the need to float the price of eggs in the market and provide targeted subsidies to the B40 group, and that discussions were being held with the Finance and Economy Ministries over the matter.
The current retail ceiling price in Peninsular Malaysia for standard chicken is RM9.40 per kg and for eggs, it is 45 sen for Grade A, Grade B (43 sen) and Grade C (41 sen) respectively. In Langkawi, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the maximum prices of the items differ based on zones and districts.
Meanwhile, commenting on grain corn, which is almost 100% imported from Argentina and Brazil and affects the price of chicken and eggs, Mohamad said the government was encouraging its cultivation in Malaysia this year.
"In a few more months (grain corn crops) will start yielding... and there are already companies that want to implement (the purchase of grain corn) similar to (agricultural model of) Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas)," he said, adding that studies on grain corn cultivation are actively being carried out in Perlis.
On Budget 2023 which will be tabled this Friday, Mohamad said he hoped there would be no reduction in the amount allocated to his ministry.
He also expected the budget tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be simple, based on the concept of Malaysia Madani.
Prior to the 15th General Election, the government led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced Budget 2023 with a total allocation of RM372.3bil, of which RM5.32bil was allocated to the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry. – Bernama