Malaysia’s agriculture ministry to expedite subsidy payments to chicken breeders to ensure domestic supply
PUTRAJAYA: The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI) said it would expedite and simplify the procedures for direct subsidy payments to poultry breeders, as part of the efforts to resolve chicken supply shortage in Malaysia.
In order to do this, more ministry officers would be mobilised to the states to speed up the review of the breeders’ applications, it said in a statement on Tuesday (May 24).
"The DVS (Department of Veterinary Services) will continue to simplify and expedite the process of claiming subsidies for poultry farmers to boost the activities of food producers towards increasing domestic production,” it said.
“All breeders who meet the requirements are asked to submit applications so that the claims can be channelled within the promised period,” the ministry added.
Malaysia has imposed a ceiling price of RM8.90 per kg for chickens since Feb 5.
This will be in effect until Jun 5, which prompted chicken breeders and sellers to complain about slim profit margins after factoring in rising production costs.
MAFI said the government has offered a subsidy of RM729.43 million (US$166.27 million) to chicken breeders through the Keluarga Malaysia Maximum Price Control Scheme implemented on Feb 5, which aimed to alleviate the burden on producers.
However, only RM50 million in subsidy has been claimed so far, it said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the country would halt monthly exports of up to 3.6 million chickens beginning Jun 1 until domestic production and prices stabilise.
Other efforts included creating a buffer stock of chickens and optimising existing cold storage facilities under MAFI and its agencies.
The prime minister said the government discovered that several big companies were not interested in applying for the subsidies and instead wanted the government to allow chicken prices to be dictated by the market.
MAFI said in its statement that an engagement session was held on Monday between Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee and 12 industry players and breeders' associations, including Leong Hup Poultry Farm Sdn Bhd, HLRB Broiler Farm Sdn Bhd, PWF Corporation Bhd and the Selangor Poultry Breeders Association.
The ministry said it took note of the issues raised, such as rising chicken production costs, disease infection and weather conditions, which among others have affected operations and the supply of chicken.
POULTRY OPERATORS’ COMMITMENT TO SUPPLY CHICKEN
MAFI said local poultry operators have given their assurance and commitment to continue supplying chickens for the local market.
It added that the government would not compromise against any parties that hide, store or attempt to sabotage the supply of chickens in the market.
"We take seriously any matter that threatens the country's food security and will continue to take appropriate action to ensure the country's food supply continues to remain secure for the well-being of the people,” it said.
The ministry added that it would continue to hold meetings and engagement sessions with industry players.