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The livestock sub-sector represents the largest food supply component of the Malaysian agriculture sector in terms of output value. Its activities, however, represents less than 2 percent in terms of land use. This scenario reflects the degree of intensity of the livestock production system especially in the poultry and pig sub-sectors. The major proportion of livestock production takes place without government subsidies.

Government support for livestock farming is more related to livestock based rural development and poverty eradication programs and is less oriented towards commercial commodity production as such. The major proportion of the livestock industry therefore operates in a free market and in a highly competitive environment. This has served to make the industry particularly the poultry and pig industries to continuously modernize for efficiency and remain at par with the best in the world. While modernization and use of automation in poultry farming operation has reduced the rate of growth of manpower demand it nevertheless significantly relies on unskilled and semi-skilled foreign labor.

The poultry industry which used to be subjected to a year round ceiling price regime from 1998 to 2009 now only has a ceiling selling price imposed on 4 major festival occasions covering 47 days during the year.