DAP MPs urge govt to assist pig farmers struggling to keep up with rising costs

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Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries to immediately consider subsidies or waivers for the affected pig farmers.  — Reuters pic
Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries to immediately consider subsidies or waivers for the affected pig farmers. — Reuters pic

KOTA KINABALU, May 6 — Two DAP MPs have asked their respective state governments to look into helping pig farmers currently struggling with rising costs that have seen prices increase by up to five times in as many months.

Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries to immediately consider subsidies or waivers for the affected farmers.

“State governments may assist by providing assessment and/or quit rent reduction or waiver. State governments can also assist by reducing red tape and speeding up the issuance of licences or assist with the fulfilment of other legal requirements for setting up of pig farms.

“We would also like to urge that the federal government acknowledge the important role played by pig farmers in maintaining food security by providing some kind of financial assistance to pig farmers and this may be in the form of guarantees, loans, cost-sharing arrangements, wage subsidies, feed subsidies, entrepreneurship grants, etc,” they said in a statement here today.

The MPs said any or all of these measures would help pig farmers to increase production, keep prices at a reasonable level and maintain national food security in the long run by preventing pork prices from spiralling out of control.

In Peninsular Malaysia, KL and Selangor Butchers’ Association chairman Lee Teng Hock revealed that the price of pork had risen drastically.

He said in January, pork cost RM7.60 per kg but increased to RM10.60 per kg in February. It then continued to rise to its current price of RM11.40 per kg in May.

Meanwhile, news reports said the prices of a ‘live’ pig here had increased from RM10.50 per kg initially to RM11.50 per kg in December 2021, before rising again to RM12.50 per kg in January this year, RM13.50 per kg in February, RM14.50 per kg in April, and then to RM15.50 per kg in May.

Pork is a staple for many non-Muslims such as the Chinese as well as native Sabahan and Sarawakian communities.

“The federal minister of Agriculture and Food Industries, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, should understand this the best as a native Sabahan himself,” Lee said, adding that it was important that pig farmers increase their output of pork production, as any decrease would certainly affect national food security.

“Just like the rearing of other livestock, we believe that one of the reasons for the hike in pork prices is due to the rising cost of feed for pigs and other related costs which led to the reduction in output,” he said.

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