KUCHING (May 11): The Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development (M-Ficord) has invited Indonesian company PT Medion Farma Jaya, to help with developing research and manufacturing technology of vaccines and animal medicine in Sarawak.
The company is the largest manufacturer of vaccines, animal medicine, and livestock equipment in Asia.
According to a ministry press statement today, the potential collaboration is line with the development of Sarawak Agro-technology Park (Sartech) at Semenggoh here.
This was among the topics discussed by the ministry and PT Medion during the former’s official visit to Bandung, Indonesia on May 3-9.
“Sarawak and Indonesia want to work closely together to combat the spread of animal diseases including foot and mouth disease (FMD), African swine fever (ASF), avian influenza (AI), and rabies.
“This potential collaboration is also in view of the spread of rabies and ASF into Sarawak and several provinces in Kalimantan Barat besides the spread of AI in Indonesia,” the ministry said.
During the meeting, the ministry and PT Medion not only discussed controlling the spread of the various types of animal diseases but also collaboration in biosecurity management.
Information gathered would be very important in view of the spread of AI virus in Indonesia and several provinces in Kalimantan Barat, which is quite close to Sarawak, said the ministry.
The ministry said the visit to Indonesia was also part of Sarawak’s early preparation in facing the AI virus.
PT Medion representatives also provided useful information on the function of their vaccine against the AI virus.
The Sarawak delegation led by Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, also included ministry advisor Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom and deputy ministers Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Martin Ben.
The delegation also visited IPB Bogor University to discuss the development of Sarawak’s manpower in veterinary services.
According to the ministry, Sarawak is still relatively short of manpower in the veterinary services sector, especially in terms of technological aspects.
Currently courses and programmes at local universities on veterinary services are also limited, said the ministry.
“IPB Bogor University has in principle, agreed to provide places for Sarawakians to further their post-graduate studies on veterinary medicine and also, collaboration on research and development over livestock food using local resources and materials,” said the ministry.
The Sarawak delegation also visited the Livestock Embryo Centre at Cipelang, Bogor to gather information on the transfer of technology in the breeding of Aceh and Bali buffaloes, as well as artificial insemination in Indonesia.
The centre has invited Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) staff to receive practical competency training on site, especially for embryo transfer and artificial insemination.