KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Bernama) — The government has given assurance that the supply of food, especially chicken and beef, is sufficient to meet the demand during Ramadan and Aidilfitri next month.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said a meeting held with the representatives of chicken breeders last Monday had convinced the ministry to increase the national chicken production by between 15 and 20 per cent.
“The country needs an additional of 340,000 live chickens daily to meet the demand for Ramadan and Hari Raya this year.
“Our daily production now is 1.40 million live chickens, while the demand is 1.30 million. We also export 100,000 live chickens to Singapore daily,” he told reporters after launching the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) Agro Corps here today.
Noh said the representatives of chicken breeders also agreed to fix the ceiling price for live chicken at RM5.20 per kilogramme from a week before Hari Raya until a week after.
The minister said the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) would also work closely with the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia to ensure sufficient chicken supply at 30 farmers’ markets nationwide.
Meanwhile, Noh said the government had also decided that fast food industry players like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Ayamas Food Corporation, be given a special quota to import supply of chicken cuts so that domestic supply would not be affected.
“The permission for KFC was decided during the Cabinet meeting yesterday. They are given a quota to import 800,000 chickens from recognised suppliers in China and Thailand until end of this year,” he said.
Noh said the ministry also anticipated the supply of eggs, as well as coconuts and vegetables, to be sufficient for the festive season.
He said despite a little problem faced with the main producing countries, the supply of beef and mutton would also be sufficient for Ramadan and Hari Raya.
“The Veterinary Department is also expected to give approval for frozen sheep meat to be imported from Sudan after the sheep slaughtering plant in the country was inspected and issued with halal certification.
“The supply of beef is also sufficient with the approval given to import more live cattle from Thailand and Australia.
“Any possible price hike can be prevented with additional supply of fresh beef from Pakistan and most probably, Sudan,” he said, adding that the supply of frozen beef from China and Pakistan would also be increased.