Surge in local demand for livestock, broiler

Azlan Othman

The country’s livestock production has seen a positive growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for broiler commodities is also reported to have increased ahead of the year-end school break with people in the country expected to spend the holidays domestically.

Some leading supermarkets also admitted that the demand for broiler was encouraging with sales running out by afternoon.

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) in its press release stated that production data trends for the livestock industry, especially broiler commodities, continue to show a positive growth at 1.4 per cent – with the output increasing from 23,264 metric tonnes in 2015 to 24,584 metric tonnes in 2019, an increase of 1,320 metric tonnes.

Production data for the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 also showed an increase in output of 6,643 metric tonnes compared to 6,350 metric tonnes for the same quarter last year, a growth of 4.6 per cent.

It is an encouraging development, especially with the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that the production in the broiler industry is not affected.

Based on current production trends, the broiler industry for 2020 is also expected to record positive growth where, as of October 2020, production increased by 22,248 metric tonnes compared to 20,426 metric tonnes in the same period last year, an increase of 8.9 per cent.

For 2021, based on current developments with several companies undertaking the construction of new chicken coops, growth is estimated at around 9.6 per cent with the expected additional output of 2,479 metric tonnes.

This increase is in line with the vision and mission of the MPRT to continue to increase output and growth in key resource industries to contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as diversification of the country’s economic development.

The results of a survey of several broiler producers in this country, on average, are encouraging with the current developments in the production of their farm products.

A leading manufacturing company in the country recorded a 785-metric-tonne increase in production as of October 2020, which is 5,574 metric tonnes compared to 4,789 metric tonnes in the same period last year. It is also building more larger-scale chicken coops which will boost the company’s production in 2021.

Referring to rumours about a shortage of broiler supply in the market, MPRT recently held discussions with entrepreneurs who expressed readiness in increasing production to ensure the supply of broilers in the country as a short-term intervention measure, if needed, taking into account the expected domestic demand which will increase with year-end activities in the country as well as various celebrations and events in conjunction with the New Year and Chinese New Year early next year.

Meanwhile, the MPRT called on supermarket traders not to hide or limit the supply of broiler.

Traders of supermarkets, restaurants, catering service providers and food processing companies are also advised to avoid making sudden demands.

It is recommended to enter into a long-term contractual supply agreement or make an advanced booking with the broiler manufacturer to ensure the supply is secure.

The MPRT together with various agencies will monitor the development and address together through the whole-of-nation approach to ensure food supply is guaranteed.

The ministry hopes that the public and customers will continue to support the products of local entrepreneurs.