Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi says the hike in cost of imported chicken feed is among the major causes of the recent increase in chicken prices.
He said to remedy the situation, his ministry had held engagement sessions with major chicken farm owners in the country and discussed with the agriculture and food industries ministry about implementing a fixed price for standard chickens.
Through this effort, he said the price of standard chickens had been fixed at RM7.90 for the 2021 Aidilfitri Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme (SHMMP) which would run from April 21 until May 20, compared to RM7.50 last year.
“There are several factors involved in the chicken price increase but the most significant is the hike in cost of chicken feed since January this year, namely imported maize and soya,” he told a media conference when announcing the Aidilfitri SHMMP for this year.
The scheme announced involves price controls for 12 items in four categories, namely chicken, chicken eggs, meat and sea produce.
According to Nanta, price control has been implemented at every level in the chicken distribution chain from farms to retail shops.
“This (price control mechanism) does not burden the traders because all stakeholders in the chicken distribution chain have obtained their respective profits,” he said, voicing hope that fixing the chicken price will reduce the grouses of the people.
He added however that the price control only involves live chickens, standard chickens and super chickens during the Aidilfitri festive period.
“The prices of chicken parts which have been cut, such as the breast, leg and thigh are not controlled,” he said.
Nanta also warned traders against raising the price of chicken or other items above the maximum level.
“We encourage them to sell at a lower price than fixed in the 2021 Aidilfitri SHMMP.
“We will first advise the traders who raise prices. But legal action will be taken if they are stubborn.”
Nanta was reported to have said that his ministry, through the two-day Anti-Profiteering Operation 8.0 (Ops Catut 8.0) from April 15, had issued 24 notices to wholesalers suspected of obtaining excessive profits.
Ops Catut 8.0, which was implemented following a drastic hike in the price of chicken, also issued 16 notices to livestock farmers for the same offence.