PUTRAJAYA: Scrambled, fried, poached or half-boiled; Malaysians love their eggs and are consuming some 20 million eggs every day.
Malaysians are among the world's largest egg eaters, averaging 320 eggs per person per year as compared to only 250 in the United States and a paltry 48 per person per year in India.
Locally-produced ones are very much in demand for their quality and their avian flu-free status.
Producers are also able to meet the demand, producing 15% more than is needed.
“The 115% is what we hope to maintain until 2020,” said deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong after launching World Egg Day here yesterday.
While the biggest importers are Singapore and Hong Kong, local egg producers are also branching out to markets such as China and even Angola through government-to-government efforts.
The annual local egg industry revenue averages at about RM2.19bil.
“It shows that the egg industry is very important to the country's agriculture,” Chua said.
However, the Malaysian World Egg Day organising chairman and the Federation of Livestock Farmers' Associations of Malaysia layer unit vice-chairman Brian Lim said misconceptions about the egg were still holding the industry back from its full potential.
“The more affluent Malaysians are afraid to consume eggs because they think eggs are related to heart diseases,” he said.
He also assured that there were no fake eggs sold in the Malaysian market.
On a separate issue, Chua said a delegation of Agricultural and Health Ministry officials would travel to China to assure its government of the quality of the Malaysian bird's nest.
In July, the Chinese Government had found that it did not comply with its strict zero-nitrate standard.
“Sometimes, high levels of nitrate do not necessarily mean that the bird's nest is fake,” said Chua.
“There is also a possibility that the bird's nest products are imitation of genuine Malaysian imports.”