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Farmers in Protest over Feed Quality

by 5m Editor
20 July 2009, at 8:13a.m.

MALAYSIA - Many poultry farmers in Johor will cease production for a month in protest against the deteriorating quality of feed and the lack of government incentives.

Nearly 400 poultry farmers in Johor will close shop for a month to protest against the deteriorating quality of feed and the lack of incentives from the Department of Agriculture, reports New Straits Times.

The boycott, expected to begin next month, will result in a shortfall of about eight million to 10 million birds with the effect on the market to be felt in September.

Johor Poultry and Livestock Farmers' Association president, Ching Pong Joy, said farmers had incurred huge losses in recent months because of inferior feed. He said promised incentives on chicken feed to cushion the hardship faced by farmers never came.

"We have been forced into a dead end. The only way out is to boycott chicken-breeding for a month to alleviate our financial difficulty.

"All members have been very supportive of the move," he said in an interview.

About 1.85 kg of feed is needed to produce one kilo of meat. A bird is marketable when it reaches two kg, which usually take 33 to 34 days.

Because of inferior feed produced locally, Mr Ching said farmers need three more days to achieve the marketable weight, which involved extra feed. The main raw materials going into feed are corn and soya bean which are added to premix and rice husk.

Mr Ching claimed producers of chicken feed had manipulated the ratio of each ingredient to make more money at the expense of farmers.

Johor has about 500 farmers and produces about 13 million chicken a month, of which 45 per cent are exported to Singapore.

Mr Ching said the Batu Pahat Poultry and Livestocks Association and the Muar-Segamat Poultry and Livestock Association were expected to join the boycott.

"It is not our wish for consumers to pay dearly for chicken following the boycott. But we also have to take care of our interests," he told New Straits Times.