Ministry given six months to produce animal feed from oil palm waste

Abang Johari places the trophy onto the podium to launch the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Awards 2022 ceremony on Jan 13, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas livestream

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Jan 13: The Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Sarawak (MFICORD) has been given six months to produce animal feed from oil palm waste.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is the first step of tapping into a circular economy in order to gain control of the market price on commodities, especially chicken and eggs.

“Our problem today is ‘manok’ (chicken) where the prices of both chicken and eggs have increased. If we raise chickens, chickens also need to eat (so) we import the animal feed up to billions of ringgits.

“Everyone talks about (growing) corn but now there is a new technology of using oil palm waste in the form of biomass (residue) where you can convert them into animal feed. But we don’t use the oil palm waste, we throw it away and we import animal feed from other country.

“Thus, when Malaysian ringgit is weak, surely your imports would rise. When this happens, we cannot feed the chickens and chickens will die. After that, like it or not, we would have to import chickens and the prices of chicken and egg would become expensive later,” he said during Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Awards 2022 ceremony broadcast live by Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) on YouTube earlier tonight.

Abang Johari further said that since Sarawak has the resources to produce animal feed from oil palm waste, he has instructed Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) to start the project off.

“And I give seed capital to produce the animal feed for our livestock including cows and fish. So when we produce our own animal feed, we can control the prices (of chickens and eggs). This is circular economy.

“Another example is on fish farming in Batang Ai where 60 per cent (of the project) is the cost of animal feed. And all of the feed is imported.

“Therefore, we want the potential entrepreneurs from Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS) to explore new fields. If you want to do it, we have venture capital under the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and then we take equity together where the government comes in as the equity holder. Then, when you start a factory later on, you can purchase at RM1 market price,” he emphasised.

Amongst those present were the Premier’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Minister of International Trade and Investment Sarawak Datuk Dr Malcom Mussen Lamoh and wife Datin Dorothy Sylvester Pungga; Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development Sarawak Dr Ripin Lamat; DUBS president Datu Abang Helmi Ikhwan and wife Datin Saripah Maji; DUBS Dewanita chairperson Juita Drap; special advisor to Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment (MINTRED) Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais; and Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Datuk Abang Openg. — DayakDaily