KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The rising costs of operation for poultry breeders has forced them to reduce their livestock, causing the disruption in supply of chicken eggs in the markets of several states, said Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

His ministry has gotten involved by holding deals with several egg producers in connection with other ministries, he told Utusan Malaysia yesterday.

“We have discovered that the main problem of the shortage is a result of rising costs of operations and the government is currently taking steps to solve it including opening a space for the request of subsidies to accommodate these rising costs on the part of producers,” he was quoted as saying.

The steps taken were aimed at ensuring sufficient supply of chicken eggs for the entire nation, he reportedly added.

“The egg producers have formally provided information to several ministries including complaints that their costs of operations have increased.

“They have even said that the costs have exceeded the controlled price of sale. Because of that, the government has taken these into account and we have taken steps to solve the issue so that they have a space to request subsidies for us to help them.

“This is so that our prices can remain at the existing level and will not burden the people,” he was quoted as saying.

At the same time, he reportedly said that the government has monitored the market and set the prices in addition to providing subsidies.

“We at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) have implemented controls and monitor the market regarding the distribution of chicken eggs. We have implemented these measures cohesively, neatly and as best as possible.

“KPDNHEP, with all our best efforts, have ensured that the supply of chicken eggs will be distributed too all areas.

“We do admit that there have been flaws in our monitoring. So in order to aid egg producers, the government will continue in providing subsidies,” he was quoted as saying.

Previously, Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee was reported by national news agency Bernama as saying that subsidies for chicken breeders and chicken egg producers have been extended from October until December this year, at a rate of RM0.80 per kilogramme (kg) for chickens and RM0.08 per egg.

The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting last Friday to ease the burden of poultry breeders, especially chicken feed which accounts for 70 per cent of operating costs.