KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — The delay in the arrival of imported frozen chicken into the country was due to a shortage in supply at the exporting countries, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.
He said as of last March 7, a total of 4,000 metric tonnes of frozen chicken had been brought into the country by 14 companies with Import Permits (AP).
“We were informed that there is a shortage of supply in Thailand and the price is uncompetitive. China is also facing a shortage and is trying to get its supply from Thailand,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Ahmad was responding to a supplementary question from Setiu MP Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir on the obstacles facing companies with AP to bring frozen chicken into the country.
In December last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government would import frozen chicken to meet the demand in the country and enable the people to get their supply of chicken at a lower price than local chicken.
Following that, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI), in a statement, said that the import of frozen chicken would be allowed for a period of three months from December 2021 until last February.
The deputy minister said local poultry operators would not be affected by the import of frozen chicken as it would only be temporary until the domestic chicken supply was stable.
“The total import is small, covering 8.8 per cent of consumer needs. The average chicken demand in the country is 3,762 tonnes (2.1 million heads) per day or 113,220 tonnes (62.9 million heads) per month,” he said.
Ahmad said the government had also allocated RM528.52 million to ease the burden of local poultry farmers by providing egg subsidies from February 5 to June 5 this year.