Pork shortage until third quarter of 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Pig farms in the State have started taking steps to increase supply by 10 to 20 percent to overcome the shortage of pork meat in the market.

However, the shortage is expected to persist till August or September as piglets require around a year to grow.

A local pig farm owner, who wished to remain unnamed, said both large-scale and smaller farm operators are working to address the shortage of pork meat in the market.

He said the root of the problem was that the sales of pork meat had declined during the market slowdown when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) took effect in 2014. As sales of pork meat dropped, farm operators were confronted with excess supply of pigs, which required daily feeding and care.

In 2016, he said the main pig farms in the State sought assistance from the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry to issue permits to export excess pork meat to West Malaysia, albeit, at a loss.

Since the drop in sales, he said pig farms have started to limit their productions based on market demands to avoid excess supply. When the demand suddenly came up, especially as tourist arrivals increased last year, pig farms were unable to meet the demand for pork.

“We are aware of the shortage of pork meat in the market and have taken the necessary measures to increase production,” he said, adding that each farm had increased pig production by 10 to 20 percent.

However, he said the shortage could not be solved in the short term as the breeding process take time. Hence, the current pork shortage is expected to persist until the month of August or September.

On another note, he thanked the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry for its strict control which prevented any contagious diseases from entering Sabah and affecting the pigs in the State.


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