SERDANG, Aug 11 — The Veterinary Services Department and Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) have been tasked with collecting data related to chicken supply to ensure food safety control is managed in an orderly manner, said Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

“Without clear data, the issue of food safety cannot be managed comprehensively,” said the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, who added that this was to prevent the government from adopting ad hoc measures and flip-flop policies.

He said the JPV was given a week to propose a pattern of data management on chicken production and chicken import, besides having the latest data on import permit records to track the total amount of chicken imports.

The DOSM, meanwhile, would need to prepare a monthly Chicken Production Cost Index, where the figure will be used as a benchmark to determine fair pricing at the retail and sales levels, he told a media conference here today after chairing the 10th series of the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation meeting.

Annuar said the policy on the import and export of whole chickens, including the price of cooking oil set for now, would be maintained and not changed until the JPV and DOSM mastered data management in a more organised manner.

“This model (on data management) can be expanded to other food items to ensure a more orderly food safety control based on more structured management,” he said.

Annuar said the JPV would also be responsible for determining the amount of local chicken production categorised as broiler chickens and ayam kuning (chicken marinated in tumeric) on a monthly basis and preparing projections for the following months.

He said the data on local chicken production needed to be separated for the purpose of determining the need for domestic consumption, which is not less than 69.6 million chickens per month or an average of 2.2 million per day.

“And the benchmark must always be there and sufficient and cannot be exported. The quantity of chickens that are reared in excess for export must also be determined,” he said, adding that the data from JPV included that on chicken buffer stock.

Meanwhile, Annuar said the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation committee would focus on the production of food items through the Community Garden (Kebuniti) programme and recommend several elements of improvement, including the involvement of its participants. 

“We want to see Community Garden raised to another level so that the commercial values where the purchase and distribution of products from the Community Garden can be made in a more structured way,” he said.

To encourage the involvement of the younger generation in agriculture and Community Garden, he said Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) had been asked to air regular weekly programmes related to documentaries and the introduction of agricultural technology and good agricultural practices.

Community Garden is a form of urban agriculture covering intensive cultivation, processing and distribution of food in the city and its surrounding areas.


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