KUALA LUMPUR: The price of eggs and chicken will be floated starting July 1, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.
The Agriculture and Food Security Minister added that the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry was in charge of determining if there would be price caps in place during festive occasions, for example.
He also said that the subsidies for poultry producers would end after June 30.
"To ensure that the supply of chicken and eggs can be stabilised after the subsidy is terminated, the ministry will implement a soft landing mechanism," he said in a written reply.
Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah) had asked if the ministry had conducted any detailed studies prior to the decision to scrap poultry subsidies.
Mohamad Sabu also said that the government would also lift the ban on chicken exports from July 1.
He said this would enable farmers to earn revenue from the export market and to facilitate cash flow into the country.
He said that poultry producers would be able to export live chicken, dressed chicken and chicken parts but not day-old chicks.
He added that the government would also allow chicken imports from recognised source countries including Thailand, China, Brazil and Denmark.
"As for egg imports, the permitted source countries are Thailand and Ukraine," said Mohamad Sabu.
The government, he said, would continue the Farmers' Organisation Authority's dressed chicken stockpiling programme as well as the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority's (Fama) Madani Agro Sales programme selling agricultural products 5% to 10% below market prices to target groups.
"As of May 8, 2023, a total of 28,078,620 eggs have been distributed through 369 Fama outlets," he said.
The previous government tried to scrap poultry subsidies on July 1 last year. However, the Cabinet decided against it two days before and elected to raise the ceiling price instead.
Poultry producers have been under sustained pressure over the last two years due to an increase in feed costs, primarily due to supply issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges caused by the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Last year, the government allocated a total of RM369.5mil for poultry subsidies.