Dairy industry has great potentials in Sabah – Yahya
by Johan Aziz. Posted on June 20, 2012, Wednesday
KENINGAU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin said the dairy industry in Sabah had great potentials if it could be properly explored, besides its potential to produce calves for export to neighbouring countries.
“Besides fresh milk production, this sector can be mobilized to establish agro-based industries and high-value downstream products such as the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, milk powder and others,” he said.
“It is precisely why the Entry Point Project (EPP) 13 Dairy Cluster was established in Sabah,” he said here yesterday.
In his speech during the appointment of an anchor company and handling over inputs to participants of EPP 13 Sabah Dairy Cluster at Evergreen Livestock Sdn Bhd farm here, Yahya said the state’s dairy industry was introduced by the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry through the dairy cattle project in the early 1980s on a small scale to smallholders who owned two to five cattle each.
Since then, he said the sector continued to grow rapidly and now produces almost 10 million liters of milk per year and continues to grow.
“Presently, Sabah is a major producer of fresh milk to schools and for the 1Malaysia milk program. Fresh milk is also exported to neighboring countries and to Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
Yahya who is also Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said this industry in Sabah would increase with the inclusion of the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) in Sook, the agropolitan project in Kota Belud and others.
He said the appointment of Evergreen Livestock Sdn Bhd as an anchor company in Sabah was right because the dairy industry had achieved a sustainable commercial scale.
He said the 90 farmers who had been selected to join EPP 13 Sabah Dairy Cluster project under the NKEA projects with the anchor company would flourish to greater heights in the immediate future in terms of gross national income, increased employment opportunities, improved local technology and better profitability for each farmer.
Yahya also advised the farmers who received equipment and livestock to try to optimize the production of fresh milk in the state.
“All inputs given in this cluster should not be deemed as an aid, subsidies or free goods as these inputs, worth about RM15 million, are things that must be paid back through the achievements of the KPI set together with the ministry.
“All efforts must be mobilized so that outputs produced will have a significant positive impact to the state livestock industry,” he said.
He hoped that with the EPP 13 Sabah Dairy Cluster project, the farmers would continue to strive to increase productivity and efficiency until production costs become more competitive.
“I learnt that Sabah has received 600 heads of cattle imported from Australia earlier this month for integration in oil palm plantations. I congratulate Sawit Kinabalu Sabah and Felda Sahabat for their involvement in the EPPs.
At the function, Yahya handed over the appointment agreement to Evergreen Livestock Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Yap Yun Fook, and also handed inputs to 90 participants of the Sabah Dairy Cluster.
Also present at the ceremony were Assistant Agriculture and Food Industry Ministers Datuk Bobbey Ahfang Suan and Datuk Haji Musbah Jamli, Veterinary Services Malaysia deputy director general Datuk Dr Ibrahim Che’ Embong, Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Justin Guka, Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry deputy permanent secretary Haji Jumahat Intang and State Veterinary Services and Animal Industry director Dr Yeo Boon Kiat.