Chicken and egg prices are expected to be floated after June as part of the government's efforts to overcome food shortages, says Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu.
He said the prices would be floated so that the domestic trade and cost of living ministry could monitor and assess fluctuations in the price of the goods compared to the current ceiling price.
"We are confident that the agriculture and food security ministry will satisfy the demand for chicken and eggs (through price floating).
"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 in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
In January, Mohamad reportedly said that his ministry 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 finance ministry, the economy ministry and his own ministry.
The current retail ceiling price in Peninsular Malaysia for standard chicken is RM9.40 per kg while for eggs, it is 45 sen for Grade A, 43 sen for Grade B and 41 sen for Grade C. In Langkawi, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the maximum price differs based on zones and districts.
Meanwhile, on grain corn which is almost entirely 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 (the agricultural model of) Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas)," he said, adding that studies on grain corn cultivation are 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.
Prior to the 15th general election at the end of last year, the government led by Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Budget 2023 with a total allocation of RM372.3 billion.
Of the amount, RM5.32 billion was allocated to the agriculture and food industries ministry.