Premier: i-CATS to reactivate agricultural research lab in Samarahan to produce animal feed from biomass waste

Abang Johari speaking at the ‘Digital Transformation via Accelerated Applications’ programme at Pullman Hotel in Kuching on Sept 19, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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By Yee Mei and Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 19: The Sarawak government has instructed i-CATS University College to manage an inactive agricultural research laboratory in Samarahan to produce animal feed from biomass waste.

“Last night, I was with i-CATS talking about how to fatten our livestock. Apparently, we have the feedstock from our biomass to produce animal feed, which is cheaper than the types that we import from overseas.

“So, we are going to have our own lab to produce this, managed by i-CATS in Samarahan along the way towards Asajaya,” said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg during a press conference after officiating at the ‘Digital Transformation via Accelerated Applications’ programme at Pullman Hotel here today.

The Premier added that he has allocated ten acres of land to produce animal feed and fertiliser for the agricultural sector.

“I need them (i-CATS) to do it because their post-graduate students can interact with the farmers and the community as we are building our coastal highway.

“In other words, these students will be transferring this technology (to be used), and of course, they have to use this data, so that is one aspect where digitalisation and data are important for us to move forward,” he said.

Elaborating on the research laboratory, Abang Johari said that the university will use it to conduct research with the community.

“You know the Samarahan area is from Gedong and Simunjan right up to Asajaya, Sadong Jaya, and Sebuyau to Lingga, right up to Sri Aman—I asked them to monitor this area.

“Then, you have biomass out of palm oil, and all this waste will be turned into animal feed and fertiliser,” he said.

He added there was a PhD graduate who has been with the villagers and has effectively increased the weight of livestock from 14kg to 50kg.

“So, in other words, it has been very effective, and we can use that to increase the quality and quantity of livestock,” he said. — DayakDaily