Reducing reliance on livestock imports

Nogeh (front, fifth right), with Ranum on his right and Dr Quaza on his left, joins the EPP 5 participants in a photo-call after the presentation of certificates.

SEMATAN: Malaysia strives to cut down the import of beef and mutton from India and other countries.

In this regard, the government through the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has introduced the Entry Point Project (EPP) 5, slated for boosting local production of livestock.

The project aims at increasing the number of cattle to 300,000 through integration activities at oil palm plantations by 2020.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Anthony Nogeh Gumbek said Malaysia had been importing a lot of food produce, particularly beef and mutton.

This, he pointed out, had compelled the government to implement the EPP 5 towards bringing the country’s livestock production up so as to reduce its reliance on import.

“The EPP 5 is very important to the economy of Malaysia because we want to increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to RM28.9 billion by 2020.

“As such, I hope all livestock breeders and companies involved in EPP 5 would work on increasing their production towards the target of 300,000 cattle set by the DVS,” he said at the EPP 5 corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme at Kampung Serayan Hilir near here on Saturday night.

Sixteen participants were also given the EPP 5 certificates of undertaking at a simple ceremony – of the total, 12 are livestock breeders from Mas Gading constituency, where Nogeh is the MP. Every participant would receive 10 head of cattle from four companies involved in EPP 5 to fulfil their CSR to the country’s farming industry, especially in Sarawak.

The companies are DAFFA Plantation, Rimbunan Hijau Plantantion in Lundu, Salcra Plantation in Serian and SPAD Plantation in Miri.

Prior to the event, representatives of DVS Sarawak gave a briefing on rabies to those present.

Opar assemblyman Dato Ranum Mina, DVS director-general Dato Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam and DVS Sarawak acting director Dr Adrian Susin were among those attending the function.