Increased subsidy will help stabilise egg supply

PETALING JAYA: Supply of eggs within the country is expected to stabilise with the government injecting a further RM20-odd million in subsidy per month, says chairman of the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

Annuar, who is also the Communications and Multimedia Minister, said this followed the increase of the subsidy at the farm level from eight sen to 10 sen per egg to retain the retail control price for Grade A, B and C eggs.

“The average cost of producing an egg is currently 51 sen while the ceiling price was pegged at 41 sen,” he said at a special press conference in Kota Baru yesterday.

“The government initially agreed to provide a subsidy of three sen per egg. This was far from the actual cost of production and subsidy was further increased by an additional five sen.

“However, this meant there was still a gap of two sen,” he said.

Owing to this, Annuar said egg producers were not keen to produce Grade A, B and C eggs.

“They opted to slaughter their egg layers before reaching maturity.

“This affected the supply of eggs and resulted in a shortage of about 100,000 eggs a month,” he said.

With the increase in subsidy, he said it was hoped that egg producers, although making marginal profits, would begin production as soon as possible to stabilise supply.

Besides working with the Finance Ministry on the subsidy increase, Annuar said the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry must also ensure the distribution of eggs were done accordingly.

He said this was necessary as most of the egg production was done on the west coast of the peninsula and distributed elsewhere, particularly to the east coast states.

Last month, the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry announced that retail ceiling prices of grades A, B and C chicken eggs were pegged at 45 sen, 43 sen and 41 sen respectively in Peninsular Malaysia.

The ministry said the subsidy for chicken eggs would remain till Dec 31 this year.