SERI KEMBANGAN: The shortage of chicken has forced traders to look for alternative supply sources to meet consumer demand.
Checks at the Selangor wholesale market here found that traders had replenished their poultry supply by sourcing the item directly from breeders in villages instead of depending on chicken suppliers.
There were also some traders who sold the birds in limited quantity, while they were some who could not operate today because of the poultry supply crisis.
Trader, Zamri Mohammad, 62 said he sourced chicken directly from villagers after learning of a shortage supply of the essential item.
Although such a move increased his operating costs including petrol and tolls, Zamri said he was left with no choice in order to meet consumers' demands, especially during the festive season.
"We got some 3,000 birds from nine chicken coops in Dengkil here, as well as in Melaka and Johor yesterday.
"We are grateful that the supplies were completely sold out as of noon since we opened our stall at 5am today," he said.
As of press time, Zamri said he was running out of alternatives and has exhausted all avenues to ensure sufficient chicken supply tomorrow.
"If the chicken breeders and suppliers still insist that there would be no supply, my workers and I are left with no option but to find supplies of chicken directly from villagers," he said.
Zamri, who has been a chicken trader for the past 20 years, said he was also forced to increase chicken prices to RM12 per kg because of the additional cost incurred in sourcing and supplying the birds.
He was grateful that many consumers accepted his reason and continue to buy chicken from his stall.
"I do not know what led to the shortage in the chicken supply and how long will this last.
"I hope there will resolve this problem soon because of the high demand for poultry items," he said.
Another trader, Robaiyah Amir, 64, who has been selling chicken for over 40 years, said this is the first time she was with such a problem.
The issue involving the shortage of chicken, she said, started and reached its peaks just before Hari Raya Aidilfitri before worsening yesterday.
The shortage of chicken supply, she said, also affected her business. Prior to this, Robaiyah sold 1,000 birds daily, but the figures drastically dropped to 300 birds a day now.
"When I sought an explanation from the supplier, their only response was that there was not enough supply.
"With the limited number of chickens being supplied, I could only sell it to frequent customers who mostly operate eateries.
"Previously, we could also delay payment for supplies of chicken. But that has changed. We must pay in advance before the chicken supply arrives," she said.
A civil servant, Siti Nor Said, 55 admitted that chicken has become a costly affair but was left with no other alternative as her children love it.
"I really hope this problem will end soon and that the prices of chicken can return to normal level," she said.