Sarawak govt supports private investment in ruminant farming, says deputy minister


Martin said the government aims to increase the self-sufficiency level of meat (cattle/buffalo) from 12 per cent at present to 25 per cent by 2030. — AFP file photo

KUCHING (June 17): The state government always encourages private companies to invest and engage in ruminant farming activities, said Martin Ben.

The Deputy Minister for Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development (Commodity and Regional Development) said the government greatly appreciates PPES Livestock Sdn Bhd and other companies that have successfully engaged in ruminant farming, especially for cattle.

Among them are the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra), Eco Farm Solution, Ta Ann, Alam Bumijaya Sdn Bhd, Mucow (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, as well as individual breeders.

He encouraged entrepreneurs to use modern technology such as artificial insemination and also embryo transfer to increase production.

“During our visit to the Livestock Embryo Center in Bogor, Indonesia last month, it was found that this technology is being used effectively to increase production,” he said during the launch of Sarawak’s first Cattle Auction Sale at the Siburan Halal Abattoir Complex near here today.

Martin said the involvement of many participants, especially private companies in ruminant farming activities, would help the state achieve its target to become a net food exporter by 2030 and for food security.

He noted the government aims to increase the self-sufficiency level of meat (cattle/buffalo) from 12 per cent at present to 25 per cent by 2030.

“To achieve this target, Sarawak needs the total cattle population of as many as 60,000 cattle and 20,000 buffaloes by 2030.

“The current cattle population is only approximately 17,000 cattle and 6,500 buffaloes,” he said.

Martin said the government has imposed a policy where female livestock (cattle or buffaloes) that are still productive cannot be slaughtered.

He said this is to ensure that these productive female livestock are preserved to continue producing offspring in order to increase the livestock population in Sarawak.

He said the advantage is ruminant livestock from Sarawak can be exported anywhere because the state is recognised as free from foot and mouth disease (FMD) by the World Animal Health Organization headquartered in Paris.

“Therefore, we are strict on this FMD control programme, where we can only import cattle from countries or states that are free of FMD disease such as Australia, New Zealand, and Sabah.

“As Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia are not FMD-free, the importation of cattle, goats, pigs, and their products from the peninsula and Indonesia is prohibited,” he said.

He added PPES Ternak Sdn Bhd normally supplies between 1,500 and 2,000 cattle from Australia for Hari Raya Aidiladha.