Chicken prices will begin to be floated from tomorrow onward. There will no more price ceiling as determined by government. Market will be allowed to set its price based on supply and demand.
It served the government purpose to remove subsidies. Agriculture Minister Datok Seri Mohamad Sabu said subsidies removal will end leakage, but for the time being the free float only applies to chicken and not yet for eggs.
The Federation of Livestock Farmers' Association Malaysia finally got what they wanted all these years. They gave assurance there will be sufficient supply. In theory, market pricing allows stability in supply thus price ceiling is not a constraint to inhibit production and ensure availability.
Approaching the November 1st deadline, there was incident of a short surge in prices following police raid seized RM20 million worth of smuggled non-halal chicken repackage as halal by illegal syndicate. Producers released frozen chicken stockpile to fill up the void.
It gave Government the confidence to ensure there will be no sudden hike in prices. However, certain segment of the population is still sceptical and in fear of big chicken companies jacking up prices. Cynicals remarks can be heard all over social media.
Past experience of chicken farmers burning day old chick to prop prices is still remembered. It is worsen by government officials stereotyping food producers as cartel and even Anwar as opposition leader called them leech.
It will take time to gain their confidence. The public need be educated and farmers must be disciplined themselves.