KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The prices of chicken and eggs are expected to be floated after June as part of the government’s efforts to overcome food shortage, says Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.
He said the prices would be floated so that the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) could monitor and assess the fluctuations in the prices of the goods compared to the current ceiling price.
“We are confident that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) will satisfy the demand for chicken and eggs (through price floating) and even now it is sufficient, but in five or six months’ time it will be more sufficient if no new undesirable matters (such as disasters) arise,” he said when interviewed at his office here.
In January, Mohamad reportedly said that MAFS was studying the need to float the price of eggs in the market and provide targeted subsidies to the B40 group, and that discussions were being held with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and KPDN over the matter.
The current retail ceiling price in Peninsular Malaysia for standard chicken is RM9.40 per kg and for eggs, it is 45 sen for Grade A, Grade B (43 sen) and Grade C (41 sen) respectively. In Langkawi, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the maximum prices of the items differ based on zones and districts.
Meanwhile, commenting on grain corn, which is almost 100 per cent imported from Argentina and Brazil — affecting the price of chicken and eggs — Mohamad said the government was encouraging its cultivation in Malaysia this year.
“In a few more months (grain corn crops) will start yielding... and there are already companies that want to implement (the purchase of grain corn) similar to (agricultural model of) Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas),” he said, adding that studies on grain corn cultivation are actively being carried out in Perlis.
On Budget 2023 which will be tabled this Friday, Mohamad said he hoped there would be no reduction in the amount allocated to his ministry.
He also expected the Budget to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be simple, based on the concept of Malaysia Madani.
Prior to the 15th General Election at the end of last year, the government led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced Budget 2023 with a total allocation of RM372.3 billion, and of the amount, RM5.32 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries. — Bernama