No chicken operator shutting down farms, ministry says despite rising prices

THE Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI) denied media reports that several chicken farm operators had closed down operations over delays in subsidy pay outs.

“A check by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) found that the chicken farm operators are operating as usual.

“We were also given assurances that they will continue supplying chicken to the local market; be it “standard”, “super” and chicken pieces,” it said in a statement.

Four days ago, Utusan Malaysia alleged that a group of cartels involving in the poultry business were planning to shut down chicken farms to protest against the Government’s purported delay in providing subsidies.

The closure is expected to skyrocket chicken prices, affecting consumers and retailers.

Yesterday, several states such as Perlis and Selangor had reported shortage in chicken supply in several areas.

Perlis Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) director Dr Adam Abdullah Kwan said that several traders have started rationing sales on their own to enable more customers to get chicken.

Selangor State Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Modernisation of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Izham Hashim, on the other hand, blamed the shortage to excessive demand.

On that note, MAFI acknowledged that several farms were unable to supply adequate numbers of chicken due to various problems, including the poor quality of chicken feed which had hampered the bird’s growth.

“Some are suffering from diseases and the hot weather is affecting chickens’ growth, especially those kept in an open coop,” it mentioned.

It is to note that two days ago, Utusan Malaysia reported that the “chicken cartel” was planning to cite “growth problems” in order to shut down several farms to distort prices.

Subsidy to be dished out soon

Touching on the subsidy issue, MAFI promised that it would disburse payments to farm operators within the time frame specified, as long as they meet the criteria set.

“The ministry will continue engaging all stakeholders to ensure the supply of chicken remains interrupted to meet demand.

“We take our national food security issue seriously and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure adequate food supply in our country,” it remarked. – May 23, 2022

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