KUALA LUMPUR: The shortage of eggs in Malaysia was reduced to one million in December last year, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu said on Tuesday (Jan 17), following the import of the product from foreign countries.
This is compared to the shortage of 157 million eggs in November and 118 million eggs the month before.
Mr Mohamad said that the reduced shortfall was because the government had temporarily allowed the import of chicken eggs from foreign countries to help reduce the shortage faced by the country for the past few months.
“I reported for duty at MAFS (Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security) on Dec 5. After getting a briefing on the latest situation in egg supply, the top management of MAFS and I met several major egg producers to seek the best ways to restore supply.
“The data I obtained from the Veterinary Services Department showed a critical shortage of eggs in October and November 2022. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), now the supply of chicken and eggs is beginning to recover and will be stable again soon,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama, adding that it was a “commendable achievement”.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security on Dec 16 said that it allowed the import of chicken eggs from India by air as a trial phase in order to help meet the domestic needs.
Local media previously reported that several states in Malaysia have seen a worrying shortage of eggs in recent months.
Bernama reported in December that the supply of chicken eggs in supermarkets and retail stores in five states - namely Perak, Penang, Kelantan, Selangor and Melaka - was seen to be depleting.
LOCAL EGG PRODUCERS DEPENDENT ON EXPORT REVENUE
On calls for the government to ban the export of eggs, Mr Mohamad said it could not be implemented as the sharp increase in imported chicken feed and prolonged price controls had put pressure on local egg producers.
“They (egg producers) are very dependent on revenue from egg exports to cover losses in the local market due to price controls which stretched for too long and can cause many companies to stop operations,” he said.
Mr Mohamad added that his ministry had held meetings with the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry as well as the Finance Ministry to tackle the issue.
Among the proposed solutions was that needy groups be given targeted subsidies before the price of eggs was floated again, Bernama reported.
Local media had previously reported that the shortage of eggs was largely due to poultry farms slashing production on the back of increased prices of chicken feed.