KUCHING, Jan 2 — Sarawak’s Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development is closely monitoring pork prices within the state, its minister Datuk Sri Dr Stephen Rundie Utom said today.
He said a continuous engagement would be done with the federal Ministry of Domestic Trade and Living Costs, pig farmers’ associations and other industry stakeholders to address the issue of pork supply and to facilitate the formulation of unified prices.
“My ministry is also proposing the implementation of a price ceiling of pork to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Living Costs,” Dr Rundie said in a statement tonight.
He said the aim is to stabilise prices and prevent further price hikes.
“For a medium to long term measure, the Sarawak government is planning to establish more pig farming areas to expand the production of the commodity to meet both domestic and foreign demand.
“The government will also facilitate the development of modern pig farm with zero discharge, a closed-house system, biogas and biosecurity infrastructure to ensure Sarawak has surplus pork and continue to export,” he said.
He noted that the upward pressure on pork prices has gained momentum during Christmas and New Year holidays due to the limited supply and increased demand, which is a common phenomenon worldwide.
“The price hike was greatly induced by the spike in the operating costs coupled with the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Sarawak,” he said, adding that the outbreak has greatly reduced live pig production.
He said as a short-term measure, the Sarawak government is allowing for the import of frozen pork products from exporting countries that are free from the Foot and Mouth disease.