From eggs to agriculture: Tackling Malaysia’s deep-seated food security challenge

Food aid for low-income households-in Segambut

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The government’s initiative to subsidise egg prices should be viewed as a temporary measure, given that long-term subsidies are not sustainable.

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) supports efforts to lower food prices but urges the government to address Malaysia’s deeper, long-standing food security challenges.

People in Malaysia consume over 940 million eggs per month, making eggs a vital and affordable protein source with versatile culinary uses.

While subsidies for other essential food items are also necessary, CAP opposes subsidies for sugar due to Malaysia’s high diabetes rate, the highest in the Western Pacific region and among the highest globally. The average household sugar consumption is estimated at 2.6kg per month, contributing significantly to this health issue.

Poultry farmers rely heavily on imported feed, which constitutes 70% of the total cost of raising chickens. To stabilise feed prices, it is crucial to invest in local feed production.

Malaysian higher education institutes have conducted extensive research on producing cost-effective and nutritious animal feed. Using this research can reduce dependency on imports and support local agriculture.

Moreover, poultry farmers should consider decreasing their reliance on imported breeding chickens from the EU and the US.

With the reduction in egg prices, it is essential for retailers to adhere to approved pricing. Consumers can report non-compliant retailers to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living.

As people in Malaysia continue to consume substantial quantities of eggs, consumers have expressed hope that more essential food items will be subsidised, leading to corresponding price reductions in food outlets.

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The government must address Malaysia’s deeper, long-standing food security challenges. Food issues have been plaguing Malaysia since the 1980s, when the country began to sideline agriculture in favour of industrialisation and the service sectors.

Therefore, Malaysia needs to urgently revive its agricultural sector to ensure food security for the nation.

Mohideen Abdul Kader is president of the Consumers’ Association of Penang.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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