Sellers call for more locally-produced mutton

PETALING JAYA: Local mutton sellers are keeping their fingers crossed that the government will push for more locally-produced mutton so that there is less reliance on imports.

“Indian mutton prices have gone up by 8% to 10% since July,” said VS Frozen Foods chief executive officer, Vimelkrista Murthy.

He said his business had gone through a rough couple of months due to a supply shortage of mutton in India.

For now, he said supply had stabilised.

Vimelkrista, 37, said it was normal for mutton prices to fluctuate as local sellers were dependent on mutton from India, Australia and New Zealand instead of locally-bred ones.

“Malaysia is highly dependent on these countries as they have a high number of healthy stock.

“It will be great if the government can encourage local farmers to produce more so that we don’t have to rely on these countries,” he added.

A mutton seller, who only wanted to be known as Adam, said that locally-produced mutton was more expensive because they came fresh from the farm.

“There are also not many locally-bred livestock, which leads to higher prices. However, supply will increase and prices will go down if we can raise more goats in our farms,” he said.

Adam, 35, said that business had been slow as customers opted for cheaper alternatives.

Another mutton seller, Muhammad Zubair Abdul, 40, said that local slaughterhouses typically produce more expensive mutton, while the meat from Australia and New Zealand remained affordable.

He said most consumers would buy from supermarkets where mutton prices were higher than those at wet markets.

“At the local markets, you can find more affordable mutton and goat meat,” he said.

Muhammad Zubair also suggested that the government promote visits to local markets.

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