KUCHING: Sarawak exported RM263 million of livestock products last year and there is room for growth in this sector in 2019 and years to come, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas.
“This is a very good achievement. The future is indeed very bright for our livestock industry, and I believe we can surely increase the amount,” he said when officiating at the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) appreciation dinner last night.
Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said the livestock industry can be a leading sector in achieving the state’s ambition to be a net food and food products exporter by the year 2030 .
He nonetheless hoped that DVSS can play continue its important task to push up the state self sufficiency level(SSL) so that Sarawak can increase its export volume.
“Currently we have achieved 112 per cent SSL for pork, 100 per cent for chicken eggs, 94 for poultry, 45 for milk, 12 for beef but for mutton is .5 per cent.
” The department can focus on building up on our beef, milk and mutton,” he said.
Uggah said Sarawak too is now still free from diseases which could threaten the industry like the Avian Flu, African Swine Fever and the Mouth and Foot.
“This is our comparative advantage in the industry besides the huge tract of land available and our hardworking people.
“On the same note, it is the government’s very wish that the DVSS will continue to protect the state biosecurity.
“This shield should continue to be a permanent feature along our long coastline and our borders so we can stay free of diseases,” he said.
On the part of the government, Uggah who is also Second Finance Minister assured that it continued to strengthen the department and enhance its capability and capacity.
“We will get more staff and facilities and will send the personnels for the courses required.
“We will ensure modern technology like the internet of things (IoT) will be part and parcel if your arsenal,” he said.
He also called on the department to be vigilant against buffalo smuggling into the state which he said was a serious problem.
Meanwhile, Uggah congratulated the department for coming up with a move to acknowledge and appreciate very successful livestock entrepreneurs during the gathering.
“Tonight we are honouring entrepreneurs like Dr. Ng Siew Thiam in the pig and diary cattle categories, May Wong Nyong Moi in edible bird nest and Chai Ming Dian for poultry.
“Others are Brangka Munan in dairy goat and Datuk Chew Chiaw Han for chicken eggs. They are role models in our industry,” he said.