Farmers struggling with higher production costs


GEORGE TOWN: One man’s meat is another man’s financial poison – even as consumers rejoice at falling chicken prices due to oversupply, poultry farmers struggle to meet the costs high production.

They have to spend about RM7 for each kilogram of chicken and the retail price of chicken has dropped to RM3.50 per kg.

ALSO READ: Farmers: lift chicken export ban

Bismi Empire Sdn Bhd Managing Director Mazlina Kamarudin said the industry had experienced a surplus of chicken following the ban on its export.

She called on the federal government to halt chicken imports and reopen exports to stabilize market supply.

“When exporters in Johor cannot export the birds to Singapore, the surplus will be sent to Selangor, which will affect suppliers in the northern region.

“The high price of chicken feed such as soybeans and corn and other raw materials is one of the factors driving the high cost of raising chickens.

“The price of chicken feed has risen from RM80 to RM135 since October last year.

“It was only this month that the price was reduced by RM1,” she added.

Mazlina said the welfare of chicken farmers should also be safeguarded, adding that the government should set a floor price to ensure farmers do not lose too much when market prices fall.

“Farmers’ welfare must be taken into consideration because chickens are perishable goods.

“It’s a risky business because an outbreak can easily wipe out a chicken farm.

“What is important is to make sure the supply is not interrupted – the government should provide a supply buffer.

“I fear that if the price continues to drop and farmers continue to suffer losses, they might stop farming again.

“It could possibly cause another shortage later.

“As farmers, we always want an adequate supply of chicken in the market that is sold at an affordable price,” she added.

Mydin Malaysia (north) executive director Azmin Saduruddin said chicken supply has now returned to normal, but demand for eggs in hypermarkets is still high.

“We now sell around a ton of chicken daily in each of the five hypermarkets in the northern region.

“But for eggs, if we order around 300 trays, the supplier can only deliver around 100. There is a shortage of grade C eggs in particular.

“Suppliers said the shortage was due to raising new batches of chickens, which are unable to produce larger eggs.

“Hopefully over the next three months the birds would have grown and produced eggs large enough to meet market demand,” he said.

As for cooking oil, Azmin agreed with the government to set a ceiling price.

“If the stipulated price of cooking oil continues to fluctuate, it is difficult for us to maintain the stock.

“We may have to hold back orders to stay competitive in the market,” he added.

Mydin opened its 67th hypermarket in the country, in Tunjong, Kelantan, in March.

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