Sim: Grow corn for poul­try feed and beat soar­ing prices

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By ARNOLD LOH [email protected]­

GE­ORGE TOWN: Corn could be both a new cash crop for Malaysia and the an­swer to soar­ing poul­try feed prices that have caused egg prices to spike, says Sim Tze Tzin.

The Deputy Agri­cul­ture and Agro-Based Min­is­ter said the Malaysian Agri­cul­tural Re­search and Devel­op­ment In­sti­tute had con­ducted re­search that found farm­ers could pro­duce over eight tonnes per hectare, mak­ing it vi­able to pro­duce corn as live­stock feed.

“We will have greater food se­cu­rity if we can plant corn as feed,” he said yes­ter­day.

Though Malaysia’s poul­try pro­duc­tion ex­ceeded 100% of do­mes­tic needs, Sim pointed out that 60% of poul­try feed in­gre­di­ents were im­ported and this ex­poses poul­try farm­ers to global risks.

For decades, Sim said, Malaysia im­ported corn as a feed in­gre­di­ent from coun­tries like the United States and Brazil but now “the price has in­creased so much that there is a need for us to plant our own corn.”

He added that there was a po­ten­tial for states with vast ex­panses of flat ter­rain such as Kedah, Jo­hor and Perak to reap prof­its from corn pro­duc­tion be­cause of the high de­mand.

“It can be done. I have seen corn farm­ers in Kedah pro­duce eight to nine tonnes per hectare,” he said.

Sim, who is also Bayan Baru MP, was at his con­stituency’s mar­ket to meet egg sell­ers and mar­ket-go­ers.

The price of eggs has risen by more than 10 sen in the last two months and is still climb­ing.

Sim ex­pressed re­lief that egg re­tail­ers in Bayan Baru mar­ket are do­ing their best to ab­sorb ris­ing farm prices and keep­ing the end con­sumer price low.

One of the re­tail­ers, Tan Lian How, was spotted selling grade D eggs at 38 sen a piece while eggs of higher grades were be­tween 42 and 45 sen each.

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