KUALA LUMPUR, August 4 — The ban on the export of commercial broilers that is still in effect is temporary, that is until the price and production of chickens fully stabilise, said Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee.
He said the government was also aware of the increase in the cost of chicken production following the increase in the cost of animal feed and the cessation of exports affecting the returns of breeders.
“In this regard, for the first time, the government agreed to give subsidies to broiler chicken and egg-laying chicken breeders amounting to RM1.1 billion in total to ease their burden. This subsidy started on February 5, 2022, and will end on August 31, 2022.
“As of July 29, 2022, a total of 8,907 subsidy applications have been approved amounting to RM748 million,” Ronald said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
According to him, the ministry through the Department of Veterinary Services constantly monitors and holds engagement sessions with all stakeholders in the chicken supply chain including at the farm level to ensure the supply and continuity of the country’s chicken production is optimal and stable.
Ronald was responding to a query from Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi who wanted to know the losses faced by the chicken farming sector throughout Malaysia since the chicken export ban came into force on June 1, 2022.
Meanwhile, replying to a question from Kuala Kedah MP Dr Azman Ismail regarding the national buffer stock for rice, Ronald said that its current position is at the level of 221,313 tonnes which is 88.5 per cent of the 250,000 tonnes target set by the government by the end of 2022.
He said the government is doubling the rice buffer stock in stages from 150,000 tonnes to 290,000 tonnes by 2023 to ensure the country’s food supply and to face any contingencies.
“In order to meet the country’s rice needs, the ministry always ensures that the rice stock position is always above the average level of needs, which is 200,000 tonnes per month.
“The rice stock position in the country at the factory, wholesale and retail levels is always at a consistent rate at all times, which is an average of 400,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes,” Ronald said.