Sufficient supply of eggs guaranteed by Ramadan
GEORGETOWN - The government has guaranteed a sufficient supply of chicken eggs throughout the country by the month of Ramadan at the end of April following the increase in workforce in the sector.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said from January to March, the government has relaxed the criteria for recruitment of workers in several sectors including poultry farming and so on.
He said the chicken eggs supply was now recovering compared to a few months ago following several steps taken by the ministry to deal with the issue.
"We have met with chicken egg operators who were experiencing lack of workers, resulting in reduced egg production. They are adding more workers.
"This is because from January to March, the government eased the hiring conditions. Now more than 200,000 have been registered to work in chicken farming and other farming sectors," he said after officiating the Agrotourism and Agroyouth Tour at Padang Kota Lama.
Also present were Penang Agrotechnology and Food Safety, Rural Development and Health executive committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin and Agriculture and Food Security Ministry secretary general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali.
Mohamad also said that the relaxing of employment requirements implemented by the government is in terms of facilitating the implementation of whitewashing of foreign workers without permits.
"The government helped in terms of facilitating the workers who are here without permits. The government whitewashed them by placing them either in the farming sector, in restaurants or places where chicken (egg) operators work.
"The police, the Immigration Department and the Human Resources Ministry are working together to make it easier for these people to work legally in Malaysia," he added.
Commenting on the reason for the reduced supply of chicken eggs, Mohamad said it was the lack of workers and the increase in the price of chicken feed.
"We import 100 percent soy, we also still import corn because the corn in our country is not considered suitable for chicken feed. 'Grain corn' has just started to be grown in Perlis and this year we will produce it on a large scale.
"This will cover a part, God willing, the price of chicken can be controlled better," he said.
In another development, Mohamad said, the ministry provided assistance to the Young Agropreneur Grant (GAM) which benefited 8,403 young agropreneurs across the country from 2016 to last year with an approval value of RM151.75 million.
He said, the grant assistance involves individuals aged between 18 and 40 years who want to venture into the agricultural sector.
"A total of 146 agrotourism centers registered under the guidance of departments and agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have been given Agrotourism Grant assistance worth RM22.13 million.